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jTOansfielb College Xectutes. 




BEFORE A.D. 170. 






Before a.d. 170 







SHillr ^Jtjp's m\h ^llmix^trnx^ 






Printed by Hazell, IVatson, <S' Vitiey, LUL, London and Aylesbury. 


A. M. R. 




THAT Ac^s was written not many years after the 
events recorded seems to me clearly established 
by the character of the narrative. That the author 
used in his composition existing documents seems to 
me to be probable from some characteristics. That 
the narrative is not made with scissors and paste, but is 
the composition of its author, seems to me to be even 
clearer ; and Spitta's theory, though very interesting and 
instructive, seems, on the whole, a false one. There 
appear, however, to be signs that the author felt him- 
self bound in some cases to follow an authority very 
minutely, and to leave traces of joining where he added 
to it. Did he write down the " Travel - Document " 
originally in Rome ? and did this give him the first 
incentive to compile his whole work ? * 

The word " contamination " seems to express fairly 

* In that case, to use Spitta's language, in Acts, ch. xiii.-xxviii., 
A would be the "Travel-Document," B would be the author's 
additions to his own A, and R would be the same as B. 

viii Preface, 

the composition of Acts^ A play produced by con- 
tamination united the plots of two pre-existing plays, 
but might be the complete, unified, and, in the highest 
sense, original work of the author. Such Acts seems 
to me to be. I have, throughout the chapters bearing 
on Acts, thought it best to make no assumptions as to 
the character of the work or the method of its com- 
position, but simply to try to establish that a number of 
points in it must have been written down from first-hand 
knowledge. This method, adopted when I was gradually 
shaking off the prepossession that Acts was a second- 
century work, and when I had no fixed opinion as to 
its composition and character as a whole, is now inten- 
tionally retained when I have formed an opinion. It is 
better to understate the case. I may, however, add that 
it does not seem to me possible to defend Acts as 
a first-century work except on the " South-Galatian " 
theory. The historical and geographical difficulties that 
led me formerly to regard the book as late remained 
unanswered and (as I am bound to think) unanswerable 
on the other theory.f 

I have stated on page 432 ;2 the opinion that II. Peter 

* See p. "]"], n. f, where a correction is needed at the end : read 
** I believe there has been some contamination in the text as we 
have it." 

t The pages of Mr. Chase's article in the Expository December 
1893, have been sent me by the editor in advance, I have nothing 

Preface, ix 

is not the work of St. Peter, as being too late in 
character. I should attribute it to a disciple, who was 
full of the spirit and the words of his teacher, and who 
believed so thoroughly that he was giving the message 
of his teacher, that he attributed it to that teacher. 
Only by some such supposition, as Calvin suggested, 
does it seem to me possible to explain the difference 
of style and of view, combined with the similarity in 
words, in topics, and in moral tone. The disciple is 
expressing his master's opinion with regard to new cir- 
cumstances in which the Church at Rome was placed 
after his master's death : he has no ambition to express 
his own view — to do so would seem to him presumptu- 
ous ; and, feeling that his master speaks through him, 
he thinks it right to give the master's message in his 
own name. 

In the second and third editions no change worth 
mentioning has been made in Part II. (except in intro- 
ducing a few references on Mr. Conybeare's authority to 
the Armenian version of Acta Theklcs). But I believe 
that the argument in Part I. is very considerably 
strengthened. When I was writing that part-, the scales 
of custom and habit were just falling from my eyes ; 

to retract in regard to the questions touched on by Mr. Chase, 
who appears to me not to have caught the point. I hope to reply 
briefly to his criticism in the Ex;positor for January 1894. 

X ' Preface, 

and I did not see the full application of the South- 
Galatian theory. Further study has shown me that 
several of the difficulties of Acts cease to be difficulties 
when the theory is consistently applied ; and I believe 
that some obscure episodes in the history of the period 
30-60 B.C. will be illuminated by it. One example of 
such illumination is supplied by Mr. PendaH's article in 
the Expositor^ November 1893. I have to thank a great 
number of friends and correspondents for additions to my 
knowledge ; many of these additions I have been unable 
actually to incorporate in the revised text, owing to want 
of space. I have taken advantage of information supplied 
by Mr. F. C. Conybeare, Dr. Sanday, Rev. F. Rendall, 
Mr. Lewis, Mr. R. S. Miller, Prof Findlay, Mr. Hollis, 
and some other friends and critics, to introduce changes 
into the text, especially in chapters iv., v. and vi., in the 
postscript, and on page 46 (where a paragraph retracted 
among the corrigenda to the first edition was left standing 
in the second).* 

In making changes, I have had to be guided by the 

* In the passage discussed there, I had forgotten the character 
of Codex BezcB, and treated the sentence as if it were the unified 
direct work of a single author ; it is, of course, the result of remarks 
and corrections overlaid by the reviser on the sentence as it was 
written by the original author. Hence it possesses no unity and no 
character; and the repetitions and awkwardness, to explain away 
which I was led to suggest a far-fetched interpretation, are natural. 

Preface. xi 

number of lines ; and sometimes the number was too few 
for what I had to say. Hence the two new pages io8, 109, 
are extremely compressed ; and probably they will be 
hardly intelligible except to those who have read Spitta's 
book and Weiss's article. In a few cases I have found 
room for an important addition by omitting some less 
important point mentioned in the first edition : such 
omissions do not imply change of opinion. 

I may add that the words used in my first preface, 
" the faults of execution of which I was and am pain- 
fully conscious," are not a mere form. If I were able to 
devote five years to the work, I could do it better ; but 
in the situation in life that I hold, responsible during six 
months of the year for the teaching of Latin to the large 
classes of a Scottish university, and bound also in honour 
to carry on and complete a very big scheme of research, 
I had no middle course between writing the book straight 
off and leaving it unwritten. Advisers whom I am ready 
to follow almost implicitly chose the former for me. 

But I do not reckon among these faults of execution 
the fact that the chapters are isolated and separate 
studies, and that I do not attempt to weld the book 
into a systematic discussion of the entire subject. As is 
set forth in the opening paragraphs, the intention is to 
discuss and try to understand single points, treating 
each by itself and not as part of a system, The full 

XII Preface, 

title of the book might be "an attempt to establish 

some facts in regard to the position of the Church in the 

Roman Empire " ; and I regard Part I. and chapter xvi. 

of Part II. as being thoroughly appropriate parts of the 

book.* Finally, it ought to be understood that the book 

is not on Church History, as some critics, even very 

friendly ones, say : it is the work of a student of Roman 

history and of Roman society, who finds in the Church 

the cause and the explanation of many problems in his 



Aberdeen, November 2'jtk, 1893. 

^' Chapters xviii. and xix. lie outside the limits of the title. They 
are included because xix. was one of the series of lectures which 
furnished the secondary title and led to the book ; while it was 
greatly due to xviii. that the writer was asked to give the series of 

t I owe to Weiss' s new edition in Harnack's Texte, vol. ix., which 
reached me late, an improvement of a paragraph on p. 77 (justly 
criticised by Prof. Findlay). Ch. xv. 41 and xvi. i describe the 
journey as far as Lystra ; and 2, 3, describe events in Lystra. As 
Weiss points out, the imperfect in 4 implies that "the cities" are 
those summed up in xv. 41, xvi. i : "as they were journeying through 
the cities, they kept handing over to them the decrees" (I use 
Mr. Page's rendering) : 5 expresses the result of their action in the 
cities. Then comes a new paragraph ; the journey is resumed from 
Lystra ; "they went through Phrygia Galatica," whose boundary lay 
between Lystra and Iconium (p- 37) ; and in this part of their journey 
they found that the Spirit prevented their design of going farther 
west to preach in Asia. Then in xviii. 22^ TakaTiKf] x<^P« is Lycaonia 
Galatica, while ^pvyla is Phrygia Galatica. 



THIS work originates from the invitation with which 
the Council of Mansfield College, Oxford, honoured 
me in the end of July 1891, to give a course of six lectures 
there in May-June 1892. The opinion of Dr. Fairbairn, 
Dr. Sanday, and other friends encouraged me to hope that 
faults of execution — of which I was and am painfully con- 
scious — did not wholly obscure a good idea in them ; and 
it is at their advice that the present book appears. The 
lectures are almost entirely rewritten (except Chap. IX.), 
and are enlarged by the addition of Part I. and in other 
respects, which need not be specified ; but they retain their 
original character as lectures, intended rather to stimulate 
interest and research in students than to attain scientific 
completeness and order of exposition. They exemplify to 
younger students the method of applying archaeological, 
topographical, and numismatic evidence to the investiga- 
tion of early Christian history ; and, as I always urge 
on my pupils, their aim is to suggest to others how to 
treat the subject better than I can. 

xlv Preface. 

The books of the New Testament are treated here simply 
as authorities for history ; and their credit is estimated on 
the same principles as that of other historical documents. 
If I reach conclusions very different from those of the 
school of criticism whose originators and chief exponents 
are German, it is not that I differ from their method. I 
fully accept their principle, that the sense of these docu- 
ments can be ascertained only by resolute criticism ; but I 
think that they have often carried out their principle badly, 
and that their criticism often offends against critical 
method. True criticism must be sympathetic ; but in 
investigations into religion, Greek, Roman, and Christian 
alike, there appears to me, if I may venture to say so, to 
be in many German scholars (the greatest excepted) a lack 
of that instinctive sympathy with the life and nature of a 
people which is essential to the right use of critical pro- 
cesses. For years, with much interest and zeal, but with 
little knowledge, I followed the critics and accepted their 
results. In recent years, as I came to understand Roman 
history better, I have realised that, in the case of almost all 
the books of the New Testament, it is as gross an outrage 
on criticism to hold them for second-century forgeries as 
it would be to class the works of Horace and Virgil as 
forgeries of the time of Nero. 

Some German reviewers have taxed me with unfair 
depreciation of German authorities. The accusation must 

Preface. ^v 

seem to my English friends and pupils a retribution for 
the persistence with which I have urged the necessity of 
studying German method. None admires and reverences 
German scholarship more than I do ; but it has not taught 
me to be blind to faults, or to be afraid to speak out. 

• I cannot sufficiently acknowledge my debt to various 
friends, chiefly to Dr. Sanday; also to Dr. Hort, Dr. 
Fairbairn, Mr. Armitage Robinson, Mr. A. C. Headlam, 
etc. From the discriminating criticism of Mr. Vernon 
Bartlet I have gained much : the pages on i Peter were 
doubled in meeting his arguments. My old friend of 
undergraduate days, Mr. Macdonell, formerly of Balliol 
College, gave me especially great help throughout the first 
fourteen chapters. In the index I have been aided by my 
pupil, Mr. A. Souter, now of Caius College. 

A special tribute is due to two writers. Lightfoot's 
Ignatius and Polycarp has been my constant companion ; 
yet my admiration for his historical perception, his 
breadth of knowledge and his honesty of statement, and 
my grateful recollection of much kindly encouragement 
received from him personally, do not prevent me from 
stating frankly where I am bound to differ from him. 
Mommsen's review of Neumann explained certain diffi- 
culties that long puzzled me ; and the lectures attempt, 
however imperfectly, to apply principles learned mainly 

from his various writings. 


xvl Preface. 

As the whole work is due to my explorations in Asia 
Minor, I hope it may stimulate the progress of discovery 
in that land, which at present conceals within it the answer 
to many pressing problems of history ; and, perhaps, may 
even prevent my researches from coming to an end. 
Next to further exploration and excavation, the greatest 
desideratum is a society to study and edit the acta of the 
Eastern Saints. 


January lyd, 1893. 







1. Plan of the work 3 : 2. The Travel-Document 6 : 3. The Churches 
of Galatia 8 : 4. Social Condition of Asia Minor, a.d. 50-60, 11 : 
Note 13. 



1. Pamphylia 16 : 2. Pisidia and Ayo Paulo 18 : 3. Pisidian Antioch 
25 : 4, Route from Antioch to Iconium 27 : 5. Iconium 36 : 6. Lystra 
47 : 7. Derbe 54 : 8. Character of Lycaonia in the First Century 56, 


THE SECOND JOURNEY . . - . . . , -74 

xviii Contents. 



THE THIRD JOURNEY ........ 90 


1. Arguments founded on the Epistle 97 : 2. St. Paul's feelings 
towards the Galatian Churches : 3. Arguments for the North-Gaiatian 
theory 105 : 4. Analogy of i Peter no: 5. Change in the meaning of 
the name Galatia in. 


ST. PAUL AT EPHESUS . . . , » , , .112 

1. Demetrius the Neopoios 113 : 2. Acts xix. 23-41, 114 : 3. Demetrius 
the Neopoios and Demetrius the Silversmith ii8 : 4. Action of the 
Priests of Artemis 120 : 5. Shrines of Artemis 123 : 6. Attitude of the 
Ephesian officials towards Paul 129 : 7. Fate of the silver shrines 134 : 
8. Great Artemis 135: 9. Text of Acts xix. 23-41, 139: 10. Historical 
character of the narrative Acts xix. 23-41, 143. 




1. Rapid spread of Christianity in Asia Minor 147 : 2. Distinction of 
Authorship 148 : 3. Text of Codex BezcB : Asia Minor 151 : 4. Text 
of Codex BezcB : Europe 156 : 6. Codex Bezce founded on a Catholic 
Recension 161 : 6. Postscript : Spitta's Apostelgeschichte 166. 

Contents xix 

PART II.— A.D. 64—170: 





1. Aspect of history here treated 172 : 2. Connexion betueen Church 
history and the Hfe of the period 173 : 3. The authorities : date 177 : 
4. The authorities : trustworthiness 182 : 5. Results of separating 
Church history from Imperial history 185 : 6. The point of view 190, 



1. Preliminary considerations 196 : 2. The religious question in 
Bithynia-Pontus 198 : 3. First and second stage of the trials 201 : 
4. Pliny's attitude towards the Christians 205 : 5. The case was 
administrative, not legal 207 : 6. Pliny's questions and Trajan's reply 
211 : 7. The Christians were not punished as a Sodahtas 213 : 8. 
Procedure 215 : 9. Additional Details 219 : 10. Recapitulation 222 : 
11. Topography. 



1. Tacitus Annals xv. 44, 227 : 2. The evidence of Suetonius 229 : 
3. First stage in Nero's action 232 : 4. Second stage : charge of hostility 
to society 234 : 5. Crime which the Christians confessed 238 : 6. 
Character, duration, and extent of the Neronian persecution 240 : 7. 
Principle of Nero's action 242 : 8. Evidence of Christian documents 245. 

XX Contents. 




1. Tacitus' conception of the Flavian policy 253 : 2. Confirmation 
of Nero's policy by Vespasian 256 ; 3. The Persecution of Domitian 
259 : 4. Bias of Dion Cassius 263 : 5. Difference of policy towards 
Jews and Christians 264 : 6. The executions of a.d. 95 an incident 
of the general policy 268 : 7. The evidence of Suetonius about the 
executions of A.D. 95, 271 : 8, The Flavian action was political in 
character 274. 



1. The first Epistle of Peter 279 : 2. Later Date assigned to i Peter 
288 : 3. Official action implied in i Peter 290 : 4. The evidence of 
the Apocalypse 295 : 5. The first Epistle of John 302 : 6. Hebrews 
and Barnabas 306 : 7. The Epistle of Clement 309 ; 8. The letters of 
Ignatius 311. 



1. Hadrian 320 ; 2. Pius 331 : 3. Marcus Aurehus 334 : 4. The 
Apologists 340. 



1. Popular hatred o the Christians 346 : 2. Real cause of State 
persecution 354 : 3. Organisation oi the Church 361 : Note 374. 



1. The Acta in their extant form 375 : 2. Queen Tryphacna 3S2 
3. Localities of the tale of Thekla 390 : 4. The trials at Iconium 391 : 
5. The trial of Thekla at Antioch 395 : 6. Punishment and escape of 
Thekla 401 : 7. The original tale of Thekla 409 : 8. Revision of the 
tale of Thekla, A.D. 130-50, 416 : 9. The Iconian legend of Thekla 423 : 
Notes 426. 










• • 







« • 








facing p. 47 
facing p. 55 


• • » • • 

i7t pocket at end 

. facing p. 472 







I. Plan of the Work. 

IN view of the important part played by the churches 
of Asia in the development of Christianity during 
the period 70-170 A.D.,* the proper preliminary to the 
subject which is treated in this book would be a study 
of the social and political condition of Asia Minor about 
the middle of the first century of our era. Such a task is 
too great for the narrow limits of present knowledge. In 
place of such a preliminary study, it appeared a more 
prudent course to describe the travels of St. Paul in the 
country, as affording a series of pictures of single scenes, 
each simple and slight in character, and each showing some 
special feature of the general life of society.! 

But while chronological considerations require that these 
chapters be placed as a preliminary part, they are, alike 
in conception and in execution, later than the body of the 
book. The writer, while composing the opening chapters, 
had the rest of the work already clear in his mind ; and there 
has been unconsciously a tendency to write as if the views 

* See below, p. 171. 

t Perhaps at some later date, when the investigations, studies, and 
travel necessary for a projected historical work are completed, it 
may be possible to paint a general picture of the state of society in 
the first century. 

S^. Paul in Asia Minor, 

stated in the main body of the work were familiar to the 
reader. In the preliminary part it is important to observe 
any faint signs of the later idea that Christianity was the 
religion of the Empire. We trace the rise of this idea 
from the time when Paul went from Perga into the province 
Galatia " to the work " (Acts xiii. 14, xv. 38.) 

The discussion which is here given of the missionary 
journeys of St. Paul in Asia Minor is not intended to be 
complete. It is unnecessary to repeat what has already 
been well stated by others. The writer presupposes 
throughout the discussion a general familiarity with the 
previous descriptions of the journeys. His intention has 
been to avoid saying again what has been rightly said in 
the works of Conybeare and Howson, of Lewin, of Farrar, 
etc. ; and merely to bring together the ideas which have 
been suggested to him by long familiarity with the locali- 
ties, and which seemed to correct, or to advance beyond, 
the views stated in the modern biographies of St. Paul, and 
in the Commentaries on the Acts and the Epistles.* 

The notes which follow may perhaps seem to be unneces- 
sarily minute ; but the reason for their existence lies in the 
fact that it is important to weigh accurately and minutely 
minute details. Fidelity to the character and circumstances 
of the country and people is an important criterion in 
estimating the narrative of St. Paul's journeys ; and such 
fidelity is most apparent in slight details, many of which 
have, so far as I can discover, hitherto escaped notice. The 
writer's subject is restricted to the country with which he 
has had the opportunity of acquiring unusual familiarity, 

* Considerable parts of Chapters I., XL, III. appeared in the 
Expositor, January, September, October, and November, 1892. 

/. General. 

and about which many false opinions have become part of 
the stock of knowledge handed down through a succession 
of commentators. Even that most accurate of writers, the 
late Bishop Lightfoot, had not in his earlier works suc- 
ceeded in emancipating himself from the traditional miscon- 
ceptions ; we observe in his successive writings a continuous 
progress towards the accurate knowledge of Asia Minor 
which is conspicuous in his work on Ignatius and Polycarp. 
But in his early work, the edition of the Epistle to the 
Galatians, there is shown, so far as Asia Minor is concerned, 
little or no superiority to the settled erroneousness of view 
and of statement which still characterises the recent com- 
mentaries of Wendt and Lipsius ; * and only a few signs 
appear of his later fixed habit of recurring to original 
authorities about the country, and setting the words of St. 
Paul in their local and historical surroundings, a habit 
which contrasts strongly with the satisfied acquiescence of 
Lipsius and Wendt in the hereditary circle of knowledge 
or error. The present writer is under great obligations to 
both of them, and desires to acknowledge his debt fully ; 
but the vice of many modern German discussions of 
the early history of Christianity — viz., falseness to the facts 

* Wendt' s sixth (seventh) edition of Meyer's Handbiich iiber die 
A;postelgeschichte^ Gottingen, 1888 ; Lipsius' edition of Epistle to 
the Galatians in Holtzmann's Handcommentar ztcin N.T., ii. 2, 
Freiburg, 1891. These works are referred to throughout the eight 
opening chapters simply as Wendt and Lipsius. I am sorry to 
speak unfavourably of Lipsius so soon after his lamented death ; but 
my criticism refers only to his statements about the antiquities of 
Asia Minor. The obscurity of this subject does not justify wrong 
statements, and inferences founded on them. Harnack's excellent 
edition of Acta Carpi shows how a judicious reticence may be 
observed in cases where certainty is unattainable. 

SL Paid in Asia Minor. 

of contemporary life and the general history of the period — 
is becoming stereotyped and intensified by long repetition 
in the most recent commentators, and some criticism and 
protest against their treatment of the subject are required.* 
I regret to be compelled in these earlier chapters to 
disagree so much with Lightfoot's views as stated in his 
edition of Galatians : perhaps therefore I may be allowed 
to say that the study of that work, sixteen years ago, 
marks an epoch in my thoughts and the beginning of my 
admiration for St. Paul and for him.t 

2. The " Travel-Document." 

In order to put the reader on his guard, it is only fair to 
state at the outset that the writer has a definite aim — viz., by 
minutely examining the journeys in Asia Minor to show 
that the account given in Acts of St. Paul's journeys is 
founded on, or perhaps actually incorporates, an account 
written down under the immediate influence of Paul him- 

* It is hardly necessary to say that my criticism is directed 
against one single aspect of modern German work in early Christian 
history. Of the value, suggestiveness, and originality of that work 
no one can have a higher opinion than I ; but I cannot agree with 
certain widely accepted views as to the relation of the early Christians 
to the society and the government of Asia Minor and of the Empire 

t The Epistle to the Galatians formed part of the Pass Divinity 
Examination in the Final Schools at Oxford. It is only fair to 
acknowledge how much I gained from an examination which I sub- 
mitted to with great reluctance. Immersed as I was at the time in 
Greek Philosophy, it appeared to me that Paul was the first true 
successor of Aristotle, and his work a great relief after the unen- 
durable dreariness of the Greek Stoics and the dulness of the 

/. General. 

self. This original account was characterised by a system 
of nomenclature different from that which is employed by 
the author of some of the earlier chapters of Acts : it used 
territorial names in the Roman sense, like Paul's Epistles, 
whereas the author of chap, ii., ver. 9, uses them in the 
popular Greek sense ; and it showed a degree of accuracy 
which the latter was not able to attain.* In carrying out 
this aim, it will be necessary to differ in some passages of 
Acts from the usual interpretation, and the reasons for this 
divergence can be appreciated only by careful attention to 
rather minute details. For the sake of brevity, I shall, so 
far as regard for clearness permits, venture to refer for some 
details to a larger work,t whose results are here applied to 
the special purpose of illustrating this part of the Acts ; 
but I hope to make the exposition and arguments complete 
in themselves. 

As this idea, that the narrative of St. Paul's journeys, 
or at least parts of it, had an independent existence 
before it was utilised or incorporated in Acts, must be 
frequently referred to in the following pages, the supposed 
original document will be alluded to as the " Travel Docu- 
ment." The exact relation of this document to the form 
which appears in Acts is difficult to determine. It may 
have been modified or enlarged ; but I cannot enter on 
this subject. My aim is only to investigate the traces of 

* The general agreement of this view with that stated by Wendt, 
pp. 23 and 278, is obvious ; and certain differences also are not 
difficult to detect. He dates the composition of Acts between 75 
and 100 A.D., and holds that the original document alone was the 
work of Luke. 

t Historical Geography of Asia Minor y where I have discussed 
the points more fully 

8 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

minute fidelity to the actual facts of contemporary society 
and life, which stamp this part of Acts as, in part or in 
whole, a trustworthy historical authority, dating from 
62-64, A.D. 

I hope to show that, when once we place ourselves at the 
proper point of view, the interpretation of the " Travel- 
Document " as a simple, straightforward, historical testimony 
offers itself with perfect ease, and that it confirms and 
completes our knowledge of the country acquired from 
other sources in a way which proves its ultimate origin 
from a person acquainted with the actual circumstances. 
If this attempt be successful, it follows that the original 
document was composed under St. Paul's own influence,* 
for only he was present on all the occasions which are 
described with conspicuous vividness. 

3. The Churches of Galatia. 

For a long time I failed to appreciate the accuracy of 
the narrative in Acts.f It has cost me much time, 
thought, and labour to understand it ; + and it was im- 
possible to understand it so long as I was prepossessed with 
the idea adopted from my chief master and guide. Bishop 

* I wish to express his influence in the most general terms, and to 
avoid any theorising about the way in which it was exercised, 
whether by mere verbal report or otherwise. 

t My earlier views were expressed in the Ex;positor, January 
1892, p. 30. Compare also the paragraph which I wrote in Ex- 
;positor, July 1890, p. 20. 

t Among other things I have been obliged to rewrite the sketch 
of the history of Lycaonia and Cilicia Tracheia in Hist. Gcogr.j 
p. 371, where I wrongly followed M. Waddington against Professor 
Mommsen in regard to the coins of M. Antonius Polemo. This error 
vitiated my whole theory. 

/. General, 9 

Lightfoot, that in St. Paul's Epistle the term Galatians 
denotes the Celtic people of the district popularly and 
generally known as Galatia. To maintain this idea I had 
to reject the plain and natural interpretation of some 
passages ; but when at last I found myself compelled to 
abandon it, and to understand Galatians as inhabitants of 
Roman Galatia, much that had been dark became clear, 
and some things that had seemed loose and vague became 
precise and definite. As the two opposing theories must 
frequently be referred to, it will prove convenient to 
designate them as the North-Galatian and the South- 
Galatian theories ; and the term North Galatia will be used 
to denote the country of the Asiatic Gauls, South Galatia 
to denote the parts of Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Pisidia, which 
were by the Romans incorporated in the vast province of 

The question as to what churches were addressed by 
St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians is really of the first 
importance for the right understanding of the growth of 
the Christian Church during the period between 70 and 
1 50 A. D. ; and the prevalent view, against which we argue, 
leads necessarily to a misapprehension of the position of 
the Church in the Empire. The diffusion of Christianity 
was, as I hope to bring out more clearly In the following 
pages, closely connected with the great lines of communica- 
tion across the Roman Empire, with the maintenance of 
intercourse, and with the development of education and 

* I did not expect to be obliged to argue that this great province 
was called Galatia ; but even this simple fact, which had been 
assumed by every writer since Tacitus, has recently been contested 
by Dr. Schiirer, and I have appended a note on the subject at the 
end of this chapter. 

lo SL Paid m Asia Minor, 

the feeling of unity throughout the Empire. The spread 
of Christianity had a poHtical side. The Church may be, 
roughly speaking, described as a political party advocating 
certain ideas which, in their growth, would have resulted 
necessarily in social and political reform.* All that fostered 
the idea of universal citizenship and a wider Roman policy 
— as distinguished from the narrow Roman view that 
looked on Rome, or even on Italy, as mistress of a subject 
empire, instead of head and capital of a co-ordinate empire 
— made for Christianity unconsciously and insensibly ; and 
the Christian religion alone v/as able to develop fully this 
idea and policy {ik p. 365 ff). 

The chief line along which the new religion developed 
was that which led from Syrian Antioch through the 
Cilician Gates, across Lycaonia to Ephesus, Corinth, and 
Rome.f One subsidiary line followed the land route by 
Philadelphia, Troas, Philippi, and the Egnatian Way J to 
Brindisi and Rome ; and another went north from the 
Gates by Tyana and Csesareia of Cappadocia to Amisos in 
Pontus, § the great harbour of the Black Sea, by which the 
trade of Central Asia was carried to Rome. The main- 

* In the writer's opinion the Church proved unfaithful to its trust, 
ceased to adhere to the principles with which it started, and failed, 
in consequence, to carry out the reform, or rather revolution, which 
would have naturally resulted from them. But that chapter of 
history is later than the scope of the present volume. 

t This line is referred to in several passages which have never 
yet been properly understood, e.g., Ignatius, EJ>hes., § 12, Clement 
E;p. i., ad Corinth., § i. See p. 318 f. 

X Cp. Rom. XV. ig. This route was taken by Ignatius' guards. 

§ The early foundation of Churches in Cappadocia (i Peter i. i) 
and in Pontus (i Peter i. i ; Pliny ad TraJ., 96) was due to this 
line of communication. See p. 224 ff. 

/. General. 1 1 

tenance of close and constant communication between the 
scattered congregations must be presupposed, as necessary 
to explain the growth of the Church and the attitude 
which the State assumed towards it. Such communication 
was, on the view advocated in the present work, maintained 
along the same lines on which the general development of 
the Empire took place ; and politics, education, religion, 
grew side by side. But the prevalent view as to the 
Galatian churches separates the line of religious growth 
from the line of the general development of the Empire, and 
introduces into a history that claims to belong to the first 
century, the circumstances that characterised a much later 
period. The necessary inference from the prevalent view 
is, either that this history really belongs to a much later 
period than it claims to belong to (an inference drawn with 
strict and logical consistency by a considerable body of 
German scholars), or that the connexion between the 
religious and the general history of the Empire must be 
abandoned. If the arguments for the prevalent view are 
conclusive, we must accept the choice thus offered ; but I 
hope to show that the prevalent view is not in accordance 
with the evidence. 

4. Social Condition of Asia Minor, a.d. 50-60. 

The discussion of St. Paul's experiences in Asia Minor 
is beset with one serious difficulty. The attempt must be 
made to indicate the character of the society into which 
the Apostle introduced the new doctrine of religion and 
of life. In the case of Greece and Rome much may be 
assumed as familiar to the reader. In the case of Asia 
Minor very little can be safely assumed ; and the analogy 

12 S^. Paul in Asia Minor, 

of Greece and Rome is apt to introduce confusion and 
misconception. Conybeare and Howson have attempted, 
in a most scholarly way, to set forth a picture of the 
situation in which St. Paul found himself placed in the 
cities of Asia and of Galatia. But the necessary materials 
for their purpose did not exist, the country was un- 
known, the maps were either a blank or positively wrong 
in regard to all but a very few points ; and, moreover, 
they were often deceived by Greek and Roman analogies. 
The only existing sketch of the country that is not posi- 
tively misleading is given by Mommsen in his Provinces 
of the Roman Empire ; and that is only a very brief 
description, which extends over a period of several cen- 
turies. Now the dislike entertained for the new religion 
was at first founded on the disturbance it caused in the 
existing relations of society. Toleration of new religions 
as such was far greater under the Roman Empire than it 
has been in modern times : in the multiplicity of religions 
and gods that existed in the same city, a single new addi- 
tion was a matter of almost perfect indifference. But the 
aggressiveness of Christianity, the change in social habits 
and every-day life which it introduced, and the injurious 
effect that it sometimes exercised on trades which were 
encouraged by paganism, combined with the intolerance 
that it showed for other religions, made it detested among 
people who regarded with equanimity, or even welcomed, 
the introduction into their cities of the gods of Greece, of 
Rome, of Egypt, of Syria. Hence every slight fact which 
is recorded of St. Paul's experiences has a close relation to 
the social system that prevailed in the country, and cannot 
be properly understood without some idea of the general 
character of society and the tendencies which moulded it. 

/. General. 1 3 

The attempt must be made in the following pages to bring 
out the general principles which were at work in each indi- 
vidual incident ; and such an attempt involves minuteness 
in scrutinising the details of each incident and lengthens 
the exposition. It will be necessary to express dissent 
from predecessors oftener than I could wish ; but if one 
does not formally dissent from the views advocated by 
others, the impression is apt to be caused that they have 
not been duly weighed. 

Note on the Name of the Province Galatia. 

It is not easy to find a more absolute contradiction than there is 
between the view adopted in the text and that of Dr. E. Schiirer in 
Theologische Liter aturzeitung^ 1892, p. 468: "An official usage, 
which embraced all three districts (Galatia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia) 
under the single conception Galatia, has never existed." This 
extraordinary statement is made with equal positiveness by Dr. 
Schiirer in yahrbiicher fiir ;protestantische Theologie, 1892, p. 471, 
where he affirms that "the name Galatia is only a ;parte potiori, 
being taken from the biggest of the various districts which were 
included in the provinces, and is not an official designation : the 
name and the conception Galatia did not embrace more than the 
special district of this name." When I read such a statement I fall 
into despair.* I have stated the facts with some care in my Histor. 
Geogr., pp. 253 and 453; and Dr. Schiirer devotes considerable space 
to restating them in a less complete, and, as I venture to think, less 
accurate way, treating a small selection of inscriptions as if they 
represented the official usage, while the overwhelming majority of 
passages, which describe the entire province by the name Galatia, 
are entirely disregarded by him. The history which I have given 
of the development of the province Galatia is inconsistent with his 

* Some of my German critics consider that I have spoken too 
strongly in my Histor. Geogr. regarding the erroneous ideas about 
the country held by some German scholars. [Dr. Schiirer has since 
retracted his statement in view of the language of Pliny V. I46f., 
Ptolemy V. 4, 12 {^Theolog. Littztg., September 30th, 1893).] 

14 S^. Paul in Asia Minor, 

view, and I see no reason to alter what I have said on any important 
point ; a Roman province must have had a name, and the name of 
the province in question was Galatia. I shall not spend time in 
arguing the point, but shall lay down the following series of propo- 
sitions, which I believe to be correct and founded on the ancient 
authorities : — 

1. The province in question was, in its origin, the kingdom left by 
Amyntas at his death in B.C. 25, and not merely Galatia proper. 

2. Pliny says that the whole of Pisidia, as far as the border of 
Kabalia, in Pamphylia, was called Galatia {Galatia atti?igit 
{PamphylicB CabaliamY. 147. Cp. Ptolemy V. 4, 11, 12). 

3. The first governor appointed is called " Governor of Galatia." 

4. Inscriptions prove that the extreme parts of Galatic Pisidia and 
Galatic Lycaonia were under the government of the officers of 
Galatia, as we see from the following : — A Latin official document 
of the most formal type, recording a demarcation of boundaries in 
the western part of Galatic Pisidia, and dating in a.d. 54, or 
immediately after, defines the Roman officer who carried out 
the delimitation as procurator, and an inscrfption of Iconium 
describes the same person as procurator of the Galatic province 

(C.I.G, 3990-* . . . ^. 

5. Honorary inscriptions, in which it is an object to accumulate 

titles, speak of the official as governor of Galatia, Pontus, Paph- 
lagonia, Pisidia, Phrygia, Lycaonia, etc. ; but we possess the actual 
text of the inscription in which the people of Iconium expressed 
their gratitude to the procurator of the Galatic province, who had 
been charged by the Emperor Claudius with the duty of re- 
organising the city; hence they call him "Founder." The city 
takes its new name of Claudiconium in this inscription, and the date 
must be about the year 54.! Here Iconium formally reckons itself 
as Galatic. 

6. When a large part of Pontus was incorporated in the province 
about A.D. 2 — 35 it was named Galaticus, i.e., the part of Pontus 
attached to the province Galatia, as distinguished from Pontus 
Polemoniacus, i.e., the part of Pontus governed by King Polemon. 

* I have published it in America?! Journal of Archceology^ 
1886, p. 129, 1888, p. 267. 

t C. I. G. 3991. The date is shown by the fact that the procurator 
was appointed by Claudius, who died October 13th, 54 ; and the 
inscription was composed under his successor Nero. 

/. General, 15 

The term Galaticus implies that Galatia was recognised as the 
official name of the province. Precisely the same distinction exists 
between Lycaonia Galatica and Lycaonia Antiochiana (C. I. L., V., 

7. There are cases in which the Roman official title of a province 
was a compound name, e.g., Bithynia Pontus, Lycia Pamphylia, 
the three Eparchiae, Cilicia, Lycaonia, Isauria. But in all these 
cases there was a permanent distinction between the component 
parts : each retained a certain individuality of constitution, which 
is well marked in our authorities. In the case of Galatia there is no 
trace * that such distinction between its constituent parts existed ; 
but all the evidence points to the conclusion that the parts were as 
much merged in the unity of the province as Phrygia was in Asia. 
The name Phrygia retained its geographical existence as a district 
of Asia ; but the official name of the province was Asia. 

8. Under Vespasian the province Cappadocia was added to 
Galatia, but continued to enjoy a separate constitution. The governor 
presided over united, yet distinct, provinces ; and this novelty is 
clearly marked in the inscriptions, which henceforward use the plural 
term " provinciarum," or eVapx^wi/* 

9. After Cappadocia was separated from Galatia by Trajan, the 
plural usage persisted, at least in some cases, as is clear from the 
inscription given in C. I. L., III., Suppl, No. 6813. This is cbntrary 
to the old usage. The plural gave more dignity to the title ; and, 
moreover, it was in accordance with the spirit of individuality which 
was stimulated in these oriental districts by western education and 
feeling under the Empire. It is possible that the Koinon of the 
Lycaonians was founded under the Flavian Emperors, but I still 
think that it was instituted later (see Hist. Geogr., p. 378). It is, 
however, not improbable that a distinction in constitution between 
Lycaonia and Galatia proper began in the Flavian period, and 
culminated in their separation between 137 and 161 A.D., when 
Lycaonia became one of the three southern Eparchiae under a single 

* One exception, dating from the second century, is alluded to 
below (9). Consideration of space prevents me from discussing more 
fully the evidence in favour of identity in constitution among the 
various parts of Galatia Provincia. Domaszewski in Rhein. Mus., 
1893, p. 245, ignores the geographical evidence, and dates C.I.L., 
IIL, SupJ>l., no. 6818, too late. 



I. Pamphylia. 

IT was about the year 45 or 46^ probably, that Paul, 
Barnabas, and Mark landed at Perga. They had sailed 
some miles up the Cestrus in the ship which had brought 
them from Paphos in Cyprus. The feat seems so remark- 
able in view of the present character of the river, even duly 
considering the small size of the ship, as to show that much 
attention must have been paid in ancient times to keeping 
the channel of the river navigable. Similarly it is a well- 
attested fact that Ephesus was formerly accessible to sea- 
borne traffic, and the large works constructed along the 
lower course of the Caystros to keep its channel open as 
far as Ephesus, can still be seen as one rides from the city 
down to the coast. 

The only incident recorded as having occurred during 
their stay, obviously a brief one, at Perga, has no relation 
to the state of the country, and therefore we need not spend 
time on it at present. At a later point in our investigation 
it will be possible to acquire a better idea of the relations 
among the three travellers and their separation, which took 
place at Perga. At present we cannot gain from the 
narrative any idea even of the time of year when they were 
at that city. 

Conybeare and Howson indeed in their Life a?id Epistles 


//. Localities of the First Journey, 17 

of St. Paul* argue that Paul and Barnabas came to Perga 
about May, and found the population removing e?i masse to 
the upper country, to live in the cooler glens amid the 
mountains of Taurus. In this way they explain why the 
apostles are not said to have preached in Perga ; they went 
on to the inner country, because no population remained 
in Perga to whom they could address themselves. But 
C. H. can hardly be right in supposing that a general 
migration of the ancient population took place annually 
in the spring or early summer. The modern custom 
which they mention, and which they suppose to be 
retained from old time, is due to the semi-nomadic 
character of the Turkish tribes that have come into the 
country at various times after the twelfth century. Even 
at the present day it is not the custom for the population 
of the coast towns, who have not been much affected by 
the mixture of Turkish blood, to move away in a body 
to the interior.! The migrations which take place are 
almost entirely confined to certain wandering tribes, chiefly 
Yuruks. A small number of the townsmen go up to 
the higher ground for reasons of health and comfort ; 
and this custom has in recent years become more common 
among the wealthier classes in the towns, who, however, 

* I need not quote the pages of this excellent and scholarly work, 
partly because it is published in editions of various form, partly 
because any one who desires to verify my references to it can 
easily do so. As I shall often have occasion to refer to the book, 
I shall, for the sake of brevity, do so by the authors' initials C. H. 
In this particular point C. H. are followed by Canon Farrar. 

t The rule is universal : such migrations occur only where the 
Turkish element in the population is supreme, and where therefore 
the nomadic habit has persisted. Yaila and Kishla denote the 
summer and the winter quarters respectively. 


1 8 5/. Paul in Asia Minor, 

do not go away from the cities till the end of June or 
July. But a migration en masse is contrary to all that 
we know about the ancient population. The custom of 
living in the country within the territory of the city is 
a very different thing ; and this was certainly practised 
by many of the people of Perga. But it is practically 
certain that the territory of Perga did not include any 
part of the upper highlands of Taurus ; and there can 
be no doubt that the festivals and the ceremonial of 
the Pergsean Artemis went on throughout the summer, 
and were celebrated by the entire population. The 
government was kept up during summer in the same 
way as during winter. 


The apostles, starting from Perga, apparently after only 
a very brief stay, directed their steps to Antioch, the chief 
city of inner Pisidia, a Roman colony, a strong fortress, the 
centre of military and civil administration in the southern 
parts of the vast province called by the Romans Galatia. 
There can be no doubt that there existed close commercial 
relations between this metropolis on the north side of 
Taurus and the Pamphylian harbours, especially Side, 
Perga, and Attalia. The roads from Antioch to Perga and 
to Attalia coincide ; that which leads to Side is quite 
different. There can also be no doubt that in Antioch, as 
in many of the cities founded by the Seleucid kings of 
Syria, there was a considerable Jewish population. Josephus 
mentions that, when the fidelity of Asia Minor to the 
Seleucid kings was doubtful, 2,000 Jewish families were 
transported by one edict to the fortified towns of Lydia 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 19 

and Phrygia.* Being strangers to their neighbours in their 
new home, they were likely to be faithful to the Syrian 
kings ; and special privileges were granted them in order 
to insure their fidelity. These privileges were confirmed 
by the Roman emperors ; for the imperial policy was, 
from the time of Julius Caesar onwards, almost invariably 
favourable to the Jews. The commerce of Antioch would 
in part come to Perga and Attalia ; and in all proba- 
bility the Jews of Antioch had an important share in this 

Paul therefore resolved to go to Antioch ; and the 
immediate result was that one of his companions, for some 
reason, about which we shall offer some suggestions later, 
abandoned the expedition, and returned to Jerusalem. 

The commerce between Antioch and Perga or Attalia 
must of course have followed one definite route ; and Paul 
and Barnabas would naturally choose this road. C. H. seem 
to me to select a very improbable path : they incline to the 
supposition that the Apostles went by the steep pass leading 
from Attalia to the Buldur Lake, the ancient Lake Ascania. 
Professor Kiepert, who has drawn the map attached to 
Renan's Saint Paul, makes the Apostles ascend the Cestrus 
for great part of its course, and then diverge towards Egerdir. 
C. H. also state unhesitatingly that the path led along the 
coast of the Egerdir double lakes, the ancient Limnai, 
the most picturesque sheet of water in Asia Minor. But the 
natural, easy, and direct course is along one of the eastern 
tributaries of the Cestrus to Adada ; and we must suppose 

* Joseph., Antiq. Jiid. xii. 3. It must be remembered that, 
though Antioch is generally called of ** Pisidia," yet the bounds 
were very doubtful, and Strabo reckons Antioch to be in Phrygia. 
It was doubtless one of the fortresses here meant by Strabo. 

20 S^. Paid in Asia Minor. 

that this commercial route was the one by which the 
strangers were directed. 

Adada now bears the name of Kara Bavlo. Bavlo is 
exactly the modern pronunciation of the Apostle's name. 
In visiting the district I paid the closest attention to the 
name, in order to observe whether Baghlu might not be the 
real form, and Bavlo an invention of the Greeks, who often 
liTodify a Turkish name to a form that has a meaning in 
Greek.* But I found that the Turks certainly use the form 
Bavlo, not Baghlu. The analogy of many other modern 
Turkish names for cities makes it highly probable that the 
name Bavlo has arisen from the fact that Paul was the 
patron saint of the city, and the great church of the city 
was dedicated to him. It was very common in Byzantine 
times that the name of the saint to whom the church of a 
city was dedicated should come to be popularly used in 
place of the older city name. In this way apparently 
Adada became Ayo Pavlo. Now such religious names 
were specially a creation of the popular language, and 
accordingly they were taken up by the Turkish conquerors, 
and have in numerous cases persisted to the present day.f 

It IS impossible not to connect the fact that Adada 

* For example, they have transformed Baluk hissar, '* Town of 
the Castle," into Bali-kesri, " Old Csesareia." Baluk, as I am 
informed by Kiepert, is an old Turkish word, not now used in the 
spoken language, meaning " town " ; it is a very common element in 
Turkish names, and being now obsolete is commonly confused with 
other words. C. H. quote a report heard by Arundel about the 
existence of Bavlo (or Paoli, as he gives it) ; but they suppose it to 
be on the Eurymedon, and far away east of the road which they 

t Various examples are given in Hist. Geogr., p. 22y note; e.g., 
Aitamas {i.e., Ayi Thomas), Elias, Tefenni (i.e., \jU t]T€(l>avov), etc. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 2 1 

looked to St. Paul as its patron with its situation on the 
natural route between Antioch and Perga ; the church 
dedicated to Paul probably originated in the belief that the 
Apostle had visited Adada on his way to Antioch. There 
is no evidence to show whether this belief was founded on 
a genuine ancient tradition, or was only an inference, drawn 
after Adada was christianised, from the situation of the 
city ; but the latter alternative appears more probable. It 
is obvious from the narrative in Acts xiii. that Paul did 
not stop at Adada ; and it is not likely that there was a 
colony of Jews there, through whom he might make a 
beginning of his work, and who might retain the memory 
of his visit. 

It is possible that some reference may yet be found in 
Eastern hagiological literature to the supposed visit of Paul 
to Adada, and to the church from which the modern name 
is derived. If the belief existed, there would almost 
certainly arise legends of incidents connected with the 
visit ; and though the local legends of this remote and 
obscure Pisidian city had little chance of penetrating into 
literature, there is a possibility that some memorial of them 
may still survive in manuscript. 

Rather more than a mile south of the remains of Adada, 
on the west side of the road that leads to Perga, stand 
the ruins of a church of early date, built of fine masonry, 
but not of very great size. The solitary situation of 
this church by the roadside suggests to the spectator that 
there was connected with it some legend about an apostle 
or martyr of Adada. It stands in the forest, with trees 
growing in and around it ; and its walls rise to the height 
of five to eight feet above the present level of the soil. One 
single hut stands about half a mile away in the forest ; no 

22 St Pmil in Asia Minor, 

other habitation is near. Adada itself is a solitary and 
deserted heap of ruins ; there is a small village with a fine 
spring of water about a mile north-east from it. So lonely 
is the country, that, as we approached it from the north 
our guide failed to find the ruins ; and, when he left 
us alone in the forest, we were obliged to go on for six 
miles to the nearest town before we could find a more 
trustworthy guide. After all, we found that wx had passed 
within three or four hundred yards of the ruins, which lay 
on a hill above our path. 

The ruins of Adada are very imposing from their extent, 
from the perfection of several small temples, and from their 
comparative immunity from spoliation. No one has used 
them as a quarry, which is the usual fate of ancient cities. 
The buildings are rather rude and provincial in type, show- 
ing that the town retained more of the native character, 
and was less completely affected by the general Graeco- 
Roman civilisation of the empire. I may here quote a few 
sentences which I wrote immediately after visiting the 

"With little trouble, and at no great expense, the mass 
of ruins might be sorted and thoroughly examined, the 
whole plan of the city discovered, and a great deal of 
information obtained about its condition under the empire. 
Nothing can be expected from the ruins to adorn a 
museum ; for it is improbable than any fine works of art 
ever came to Adada, and certain that any accessible 
fragment of marble which ever was there has been carried 

* Athenceum, July 1890, p. 136, in a letter written in part by my 
friend and fellow-traveller Mr. Hogarth ; the description of Adada 
was assigned to me. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 23 

away long ago. But for a picture of society as it was 
formed by Graeco-Roman civilisation in an Asiatic people, 
there is perhaps no place where the expenditure of a few 
hundreds would produce such results. The opinion will 
not be universally accepted that the most important and 
interesting part of ancient history is the study of the 
evolution of society during the long conflict between 
Christianity and paganism ; but those who hold this 
opinion will not easily find a work more interesting and 
fruitful at the price than the excavation of Adada." 

C. H. are right in emphasizing the dangers to which 
travellers were exposed in this part of their journey : 
* perils of rivers, perils of robbers." The following in- 
stances, not known to C. H., may be here quoted. They 
all belong to the Pisidian highlands, not far from the 
road traversed by the Apostles,* and, considering how 
ignorant we are of the character of the country and the 
population, it is remarkable that such a large proportion 
of our scanty information relates to scenes of danger and 
precautions against violence. 

I. A dedication and thank-offering by Menis son of Daos 
to Jupiter, Neptune, Minerva, and all the gods, and also to 
the river Eurus, after he had been in danger and had been 
saved. t This inscription records an escape from drowning. 
There is no river in the neighbourhood which could cause 
danger to a man, except when swollen by rain. 

* If the road was frequented by commerce, it would of course be 
more dangerous. Brigands must make a living, and go where most 
money is to be found. 

+ Abbe Duchesne in Bulletin de Corresp. Helleji.^ vol. iii.,p. 479. 
The name of the river is uncertain, Eurus or Syrus ; I tried in vain 
to find the stone in 1886; but M. Duchesne observed this point in 
the text carefully. 

24 \i^^- Paul 211 Asia Minor. 

2. An epitaph erected by Patroklcs and Douda over the 
grave of their son, Sousou, a policeman, who was slain by 

3. References to gens d' amies of various classes {opo- 
(j)v\aK€<;, 7rapa(j)v\aKLTat) occur with unusual frequency in 
this district. Very few soldiers were stationed in Pisidia ; 
and armed policemen were a necessity in such an unruly 


4. A stationarius, part of whose duty was to assist in the 
capture of runaway slaves (often the most dangerous of 
brigands), is also mentioned in an inscription.! 

The roads all over the Roman Empire were apt to be 
unsafe, for the arrangements for insuring public safety were 
exceedingly defective ; but probably the part of his life 
which St. Paul had most in mind when he wrote about 
the perils of rivers and of robbers, which he had faced in 
his journeys, was the journey from Perga across Taurus to 
Antioch and back again. 

Between Adada and Antioch the road is uncertain. One 
of the paths leads along the south-east end of Egerdir Lake, 
traversing the difficult pass now called Demir Kapu, " the 
Iron Gate." But I believe there is a more direct and easy 
road, turning from Adada towards the north-east, though 
further exploration is needed before it is possible to speak 

* Professor Sterrett in Epigr'aphic Journey in Asia Mijior, 
p. 166. 

t Historical Geography of Asia Minor, pp. 177 ff. 

X Mittheiltmgen des Institiits zu Athen^ 1885, p. ']']. Examples 
might be multiplied by including the parts of Taurus farther removed 
from the road. On the whole subject see the paper of Professor 
O. Hirschfeld in Berlin. Sitzimgsber.^ 1891, pp. 845 ff., on "Die 
Sicherheitspolizei im romischen Kaiserreich," 

//. Localities^ of the First Joitrney. 2 5 

3. PiSIDIAN Antioch. 

The city of Antioch was the governing and military 
centre of the southern half of the vast province of Galatia, 
which at this time extended from north to south right across 
the plateau of Asia Minor, nearly reaching the Mediter- 
ranean on the south and the Black Sea on the north. 
Under the early emperors it possessed a rank and im- 
portance far beyond what belonged to it in later times. 
This was due to the fact that between 10 B.C. and 72 A.D. 
the "pacification" — i.e.y the completion of the conquest and 
organisation — of southern Galatia was in active progress, 
and was conducted from Antioch as centre. Under 
Claudius, 41-54 A.D., the process of pacification was in 
especially active progress, and Antioch was at the acme of 
its importance. 

In the Roman style, then, Antioch belonged to Galatia, 
but, in popular language and according to geographical 
situation, it was said to be a city of Phrygia. Even a 
Roman might speak of Antioch as a city of Phrygia, if he 
were laying stress on geographical or ethnological consider- 
ations ; for the province of Galatia was so large that the 
Romans themselves subdivided it into districts (which are 
enumerated in many Latin inscriptions), e.g.^ Paphlagonia, 
Phrygia, Isauria, Lycaonia, Pisidia, etc.* It is commonly 
said that Antioch belonged to Pisidia, but, for the time with 
which we are dealing, this is erroneous. Strabo is quite 
clear on the point.f But after tlie time of Strabo there took 

* See note appended to Chap. i. 

t See pages 557, 569, 577. Ptolemy mentions Antioch twice, v. 
4. II, and V. 5. 4; in one case he assigns it to the district Pisidia 
and the province Galatia, in the other to the district Pisidian 
Phrj'gia {z.e. the part of Phrygia which had come to be included in 

26 SL Paul ill Asia Minor, 

place a gradual widening of the term Pisidia to include all 
the country that lay between the bounds of the province of 
Asia and Pisidia proper. It is important to observe this 
and similar cases in which the denotation of geographical 
names in Asia Minor gradually changes, as the use of a 
name sometimes gives a valuable indication of the date 
of the document in which it occurs. 

The accurate and full geographical description of Antioch 
about 45-50 A.D. was "a Phrygian city on the side of 
Pisidia " {^pvyla itoXl'^ irpb^ Ilco-tSia). The latter addition 
was used in Asia Minor to distinguish it from Antioch on 
the Maeander, on the borders of Caria and Phrygia. But 
the world in general wished to distinguish Antioch from 
the great Syrian city, not from the small Carian city ; 
hence the shorter expression " Pisidian Antioch " {^AvrLox^ta 
r) Tlto-Ldia)* came into use, and finally, as the term Pisidia 
was widened, " Antioch of Pisidia " became almost uni- 
versal. The latter term is used by Ptolemy, v. 4. 11, and 
occurs in some inferior MSS. in Acts xiii. 14. " Pisidian 
Antioch," however, is admittedly the proper reading in the 
latter passage. f 

Pisidia) and the province Pamphylia. This error arises from his 
using two authorities belonging to different periods, and not under- 
standing the relation between them. He makes the same mistake 
about several other places : e.^., Olba, Claudiopolis, etc. {Hist. 
Geogr., pp. 336, 363, 405, 447). 

* Compare Ptolemy's " Pisidian Phrygia," quoted in the preceding 

t Codex Bezce reads "Antioch of Pisidia," which is one of many 
proofs that it is founded on a modernisation of the text made not 
earlier than the second century by an intelligent and well-informed 
editor. This editor introduced various changes which betray the 
topography and character of the second century (p. 46). 

//. Lccalities of the First Journey, 27 

From these facts we can infer that it would have been an 
insult to an Antiochian audience, the people of a Roman 
Colonia, to address them as Pisidians. Pisidia was the 
" barbarian " mountain country that lay between them and 
Pamphylia ; it was a country almost wholly destitute of 
Greek culture, ignorant of Greek games and arts, and barely 
subjugated by Roman arms. Antioch was the guard set 
upon these Pisidian robbers, the trusted agent of the 
imperial authority, the centre of the military system de- 
signed to protect the subjects of Rome. " Men of Galatia " 
is the only possible address in cases where " Men of 
Antioch " is not suitable ; * and " a city of Phrygia " is the 
geographical designation which a person familiar with the 
city would use if the honorific title " a city of Galatia " 
was not suitable. These accurate terms were used by the 
Roman Paul, and they are used in the original document 
employed by the author of Acts, though in one case the 
looser but commoner phrase, " Pisidian Antioch," is used to 
distinguish it from Syrian Antioch. 

4. Route from Antioch to Iconium. ^ 

As to the route by which Paul and Barnabas travelled 
from Antioch to Iconium, widely varying opinions have 
been entertained by recent authorities. Professor Kiepert, 
the greatest perhaps of living geographers, who has paid 
special attention to the difficult problems of the topography 
of Asia Minor, has, in the map attached to Renan's Saint 
Paul, represented that in all his three journeys Paul 
travelled between the two cities along the great Eastern 

•^ " Phrygians " was also an impossible address, for Phrygian had 
in Greek and Latin become practically equivalent to slave. 

28 5/. Pa7il in Asia Minor. 

Trade Route,* a section of which connected Philomelium 
and Laodicea Katakekaumene : according to Kiepert, Paul 
crossed the Sultan Dagh to join this route at Philomelium, 
and left it again at Laodicea to go south to Iconium. C. H. 
indicate his route along the western side of Sultan Dagh, until 
that lofty ridge breaks down into hilly country on the south, 
across which the route goes in as direct a line as possible 
to Iconium. The map attached to Canon Farrar's Saint 
Paul indicates a route midway between these two, passing 
pretty exactly along the highest ridge of the Sultan Dagh. 

The line marked out by C. H., though not exactly correct, 
approximates much more closely than either of the others 
to that which we may unhesitatingly pronounce to be the 
natural and probable one. But, partly in deference to 
Professor Kicpert's well-deserved and universally acknow- 
ledged authority, and partly on account of an interesting 
problem of Christian antiquities which in part hinges on 
this question, it is necessary to state as briefly as possible 
the main facts. 

According to Kiepert, Paul in going and in returning 
crossed the lofty Sultan Dagh. There is no actual pass 
across that lofty ridge. The path climbs a steep and 
rugged glen on one side, crosses the summit of the 
ridge fully 4,000 feet above the town of Antioch, and 
descends a similar glen on the other side.f On the map 
Antioch seems very near Philomelium ; but six hours of 
very toilsome travelling lie between them. Then follows a 

* Of this road, which came into use during the later centuries 
B.C., and which was the main artery of communication and govern- 
ment in Asia Minor under the Roman Empire, a full account is given 
Hist, Geogr.y chaps, iii., iv. 

t See the description given of the crossing by my friend, Pro- 
fessor Sterrett, in his Epigra^phk Journey Z7t Asia MiJior, p. 164. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 29 

peculiarly unpleasant road, twenty-eight hours * in length, 
by Laodicea to Iconium. Except in the towns that lie on 
the road, there is hardly any shade and little water along 
its course. It is exposed to the sun from its rising to its 
setting : and, if my memory is correct, there are only two 
places where a tree or two by the roadside afford a little 
shadow and a rest for the traveller. This road makes a 
circuit, keeping to the level plain throughout ; but it would 
not be used by pedestrians like Paul and Barnabas. If 
they went to Philomelium, they would naturally prefer the 
direct road thence to Iconium through the hill country by 
Kaballa. This path is nowhere very steep or difficult, is 
often shady and pleasant, and is shorter by an hour or two 
than the road through Laodicea ; it is in all probability 
older than the great Trade Route, and was undoubtedly 
used at all periods for direct communication by horse or 
foot passengers between Philomelium and Iconium. 

But there is no reason to think that Paul ever crossed the 
Sultan Dagh. The natural path from Antioch to Iconium 
went nearly due south for six hours by the new Roman 
road to Neapolis, the new city which was just growing up ^ 
at the time.f Thence it went to Misthia on the north- 

* The " hour " indicates a distance of about three miles, or slightly 
over. The exact distances, as measured for the proposed extension 
of the Ottoman Railway, are, — 
Philomelium to Arkut Khan 
Arkut Khan to Tyriaion (Ilghin) 
Ilghin to Kadin Khan 
Kadin Khan to Laodicea . 
From Laodicea (Ladik) to Iconium the distance (43 miles) is 
measured by a circuitous route to avoid a ridge : the distance by 
road cannot be much over 2"] miles (9 hours). I am indebted for 
these figures to Mr. Purser and Mr. Cook, 
t On the history of Neapolis, see Hist. Geogr., pp. 396-7. 











) > 









30 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

eastern shores of the great lake Caralis. A little way beyond 
Misthia it diverged from the Roman road, and crossed the 
hilly country by a very easy route to Iconium. The total 
distance from Antioch to Iconium by this route is about 
twenty-seven hours,* as compared with thirty-two or thirty- 
four by way of Philomelium. This route is still in regular 
use at the present day. 

The line indicated in the map of C. H. is straighter, and 
I believe that it is actually practicable ; but it has never 
been traversed by any explorer, and I know only part of 
the country through which it runs. It would pass east 
of Neapolis, and may possibly have been a track of com- 
munication in older time. But in B.C. 6 Augustus formed 
a series of roads to connect the Roman colonies which 
he founded as fortresses of defence against the Pisidian 
mountain tribes.f Hence we might feel some confidence 
in assuming that Paul and Barnabas would walk as far as 
possible along the Roman road. This road indeed was not 
the shortest line between Antioch and Iconium, because 
its purpose was to connect Antioch, the military centre of 
defence, with the two eastern colonies, Lystra and Parlais ; 
and it did not touch Iconium. But communication would 
be so organised as to use the well-made road to the utmost ; 
all trade undoubtedly followed this track, entertainment 
for travellers was naturally provided along it, and the direct 
path, though a little shorter, would be less convenient 
and would no longer be thought of or used. We are 

* Arundel, Asia Mmor, ii., p. 8., gives the distance as twenty- 
eight hours by report ; neither he nor Hamilton traversed this route. 
No description of the road is published, so far as I remember. 

t The existence of a system of military roads may always be 
assumed, according to the Roman custom, connecting a system of 
fortresses {coloiiicB) on these roads. See pages 2^2, 34. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 3 1 

not, however, left in this case to mere probabiHties. We 
have the express testimony of an ancient document that 
Paul used this Roman road ; and my object in giving this 
minute and perhaps tedious description of the road and 
of its origin has been to bring home to the reader the 
exactness with which this document describes the actual 

The document in question is one of the apocryphal 
Apostle-legends, the Acts of Paul and Thekla. The general 
opinion of recent scholars * is that this tale was composed 
about the latter part of the second century ; and in that 
case it would have no historical value, except in so far as it 
quoted older documents. Reserving for another place 
the whole question of the date and character of these Acta, 
we are at present concerned only with one passage, in which 
the road from Antioch to Iconium is described. 

In the opening of the Acta a certain Onesiphorus, resident 
at Iconium, heard that Paul was intending to come thither 
from Antioch. Accordingly he went forth from the city to 
meet him, and to invite him to his house. And he pro- 
ceeded as far as the Royal Road that leads to Lystra, and 
there he stood waiting for Paul ; and he scanned the 
features of the passers-by.f And he saw Paul coming, a 

* There are some exceptions, see p. 379 ff. 

t The Greek text is usually and naturally translated, " he pro- 
ceeded along the Royal Road," but the following ela-Trjicei implies that 
the first clause indicates the point to which Onesiphorus went and 
where he stood. The Syriac translation makes the sense quite clear : 
*' he went and stood where the roads meet, on the highway which goes 
to Lystra." Lipsius, in his recent critical edition, omits this Syriac 
passage, which is of cardinal importance. In several cases he shows 
a preference for the easiest, the least characteristic, and therefore 
the worst reading ; e.£:, he here prefers ip^ofx^povs to dupxoixevovs. 

32 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

man small in size, with meeting eyebrows, with a rather 
large nose, baldheaded, bowlegged, strongly built, full of 
grace, for at times he looked like a man, and at times he 
had the face of an angel. This plain and unflattering 
account of the Apostle's personal appearance seems to 
embody a very early tradition. 

The " Royal Road " {fiaaikiKri oho^^ via regalis) that leads 
to Lystra is obviously the Roman road built by Augustus 
from Antioch to Lystra. The epithet is a remarkable one, 
and very difficult to explain. The first impression that any 
one would receive from it is that it denotes the Roman 
road built by the Basileis, as the emperors were commonly 
called in the second century, and that it points to a second 
century date more naturally than to any earlier period. 

So far as I can judge, this argument as to date would be 
unanswerable, were it not for an inscription discovered in 
18^4 at Comama, the most western of Augustus' Pisidian 
colonies, a city whose name had entirely disappeared from 
human knowledge, until this and other Latin inscriptions 
were found on the site. It was then observed that numerous 
coins of the city existed, but had been misread and attri- 
buted to Comana in Cappadocia ; it also appeared that the 
city was mentioned by Ptolemy and other authorities, but 
that the name was always corrupted. 

In the ruins of Comama there still lies a milestone, with 
the inscription in faint and hardly legible letters — 

"The Emperor Csesar Augustus, sonofagod, Pontifex 
Maximus, etc., constructed the Royal Road by the care 
of his lieutenant, Cornutus Aquila " (C.I.L., III., 6974).* 

* I adhere to RECALEM against M. Berard's impossible SECAPAM, 
Bull. Corr. Hellen., 1892, p. 420. My copy has -ECA'EM [noles : 
first letter perhaps S, fifth begins with upright stroke). BaaiXiKt) 6d6s 
at Termessos, Lanckoronski, Stddte Pain^Ji. II., p. 203. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 33 

The roads built by Augustus to connect his Pisidian 
colonies* were doubtless- built with a solidity unusual in the 
country. They are two in number, one leading to Olbasa 
Comama and Cremna, the other to Parlais and Lystra. 
The former is called Via Regalis on the milestone, the latter 
in the Acta. 

The original Acta then described the scene with a minute 
fidelity possible only to a person who knew the localities, 
Onesiphorus went out from Iconium till he came to the 
point a few miles south of Misthia, where the path to 
Iconium diverged from the built Roman road that led from 
Antioch to Lystra ; and here he waited till he observed 
Paul coming towards him. I am far from assuming that 
the facts here narrated are historical ; but I do hold that 
the tale was written down by a person familiar with the 
localities, and that the route now employed for traffic be- 
tween Iconium and Antioch was used to the exclusion of 
any other at the time when he wrote. 

It is therefore proved that the term Royal Road in the 
Acta furnishes no proof of a second century date. It may 
even be proved that the term is not consistent with an^ 
origin later than the first century, because the very name 
Via Regalis, denoting the road from Antioch to Lystra, was 
soon disused. The sentence where it occurs was written f 

* The name " Pisidian" is convenient, though they were not all 
in Pisidia. Augustus in enumerating his colonies seems to sum 
them all up as in Pisidia. (Mommsen, Mommientum Aficyraiiujn., 
p. 119) But colonies on the Pisidian frontier to keep under control 
the Pisidian mountain tribes are readily called Pisidian. Thus we 
have above explained the term " Pisidian Antioch." 

t No mere tradition can be so strong as to fix in the memory of pos- 
terity verbal peculiarities which no longer correspond to actual facts. 
It will appear in the following paragraphs that the name Via Regalis 
was retained in the text long after it had ceased to be understood. 

34 ^^- Paul in Asia Miyior. 

before the name passed out of use. Can we fix approxi- 
mately the date when the name ceased to exist, and before 
which some written authority for the tale must have come 
into existence ? Several arguments point decisively to the 
conclusion that the name did not survive the first century, 
but belonged to a state of the country which characterised 
the first half of the first century and then ceased to exist. 
As this subject is of great consequence in our attempt to 
realise the circumstances in which Paul's journeywas made, 
and has never been properly described or understood, I 
shall try to state briefly the main facts. 

The purpose of Augustus's roads was to keep in order 
the recently subdued Pisidian mountaineers. When the 
pacification of Pisidia, and the naturalisation of the imperial 
rule and the Graeco-Roman civilisation in the country 
had been completed, the need for these roads disappeared ; 
they were no longer maintained by the imperial govern- 
ment with the care that was applied to roads of military 
importance, and they were merged in the general system 
of communication across Asia Minor.* 

The period when this pacification of Pisidia was taking 
place can be determined precisely from the evidence of 
coins, of inscriptions, and of authors, and from the dates 
at which the constitutions of cities on the northern fron- 
tiers were fixed. I need not weary the reader by enume- 
rating here the long lists of facts, which show that the 
earlier emperors from Augustus to Nero directed close and 
continuous attention to this district of Asia Minor, and 
that in the reign of Claudius the process cf organisation 

* See Hist. Geogr., pp. 57-8. From that time onwards the road 
described in the Acta was called s\m^\y the road to Ico?itum,TiO\. 
the road that leads to Lystra. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 35 

was in specially active progress. Vespasian in A.D. 74 
remodelled the government, separated great part of Pisidia 
from the province of Galatia, and attached it to Pamphylia,* 
This marks the end of the Pisidian colonial system and 
military roads. Antioch, the centre of the system, was 
now entirely separated from at least thre^ of the colonies. f 
which were transferred to a different province. Moreover 
there were no soldiers in the province Lycia-Pamphylia, as 
>here were in Galatia; great part of Pisidia would not 
have been united to the unarmed province, unless all 
possible need for soldiers and garrisons had been con- 
sidered to be at an end. 

Lystra, the most easterly point of the colonial system, 
must have been a place of great importance under the early 
emperors ; but after 74 it sank back into the insignificance 
of a small provincial town with nothing to distinguish it. 
Direct communication between Antioch and Lystra had 
previously been maintained only for military and political 
reasons ; no commerce could ever have existed between 
them. After A.D. 74 therefore the road from Antioch to 
Lystra ceased to be thought of as a highway, and must ^ 
have disappeared from popular language. Iconium, not 
Lystra, was the natural commercial centre, and has main- 
tained that rank from the earliest time to the present day. 
Thus the road from Antioch to Iconium was, after the year 
74, the only one present to the popular mind ; and it ceased 
to be possible that a traveller from Antioch to Iconium 
should be described as going along the road to Lystra for a 
certain distance and then diverging from it. 

* He made Lycia and Pamphylia a single province, 
t Comama, Cremna, and Olbasa were henceforth attached to 

2,6 St Patil in Asia Minor. 

It is characteristic of the way in which the figure of Paul 
dwarfed that of Barnabas in the memory of later genera- 
tions that no reference to the latter occurs in these Acta. 
The companions of Paul are only the treacherous Hermo- 
genes and Demas. An example of the same feeling is 
observable in the text of Codex Bezce, xiv., i. The reviser 
has there substituted " he " for " they."* The change 
is entirely out of accord with the tone of the " Travel- 
Document," but in perfect agreement with later tradition in 
the district, as attested in the Acta of Paul and Thekla. 
Such a change would not naturally be made except in a 
country where the memory and influence of St. Paul was 
especially strong. That this was the case in Phrygia during 
the second century is proved by the Testament of Avircius 
Marcellus, dating about 190-200 AD. ; f and we may safely 
assume that the same feeling would remain in the Galatian 


According to the route described, Paul and Barnabas 
entered Iconium from the west, having a good view of the 
extensive gardens and orchards, which form such a charm- 
ing feature of the suburbs. C. H. give a very fair account 
of Iconium,t of the great part that it played in later 
history, and of the natural features amid which it is placed, 

* elaeXdelv avrov et? rriv avmyoyyTJv. On the reviser, his character 
and date, see Chapter VIII. 

t See Expositor, April 1889, p. 265. 

X But they ought not to quote Leake's incorrect statement that 
Mount Argaeus in Cappadocia is visible from the outskirts of the 
city. Hamilton has rightly expressed his disbelief in this state- 
ment. The two snowy peaks which Leake saw are the peaks of 
the Hassan Dagh, a lofty mountain north-west of Tyana, which I 

//. Localities of the First Jottrney. 37 

at the western extremity of the vast plains of Lycaonia, 
with a mountainous country beginning to the west about 
six miles away, and hills on the north and south at a distance 
of about ten or twelve miles. 

Iconium was in early times a city of Phrygia, situated on 
the eastern frontier, where Phrygia borders on Lycaonia ; 
but in later times it was called a city of Lycaonia. It is 
important for our purposes to discover at what period it 
began to be called a city of Lycaonia and ceased to be 
Phrygian. Modern geographers all state that no writer 
later than Xenophon calls Iconium Phrygian ; but this is 
erroneous. In Acts xiv. 6 the apostles, being in danger at 
Iconium, are said to " have fled to the cities of Lycaonia, 
Lystra, and Derbe, and the surrounding country." The 
writer obviously considered that in their flight from 
Iconium to a town eighteen miles distant they crossed the 
Lycaonlan frontier, and his view is precisely that of Xeno- 
phon, who also entered Lycaonia immediately on leaving 

The coincidence is perfect. The phrase is a striking 
instance of local accuracy, and at the same time a strong 
proof that even in the first century after Christ Iconium^ 
was by the natives reckoned as Phrygian. It is true that 
Cicero, Strabo, and Pliny make Iconium a Lycaonlan city. 
This constitutes a perfectly satisfactory proof that such was 
the general usage between at least 100 B.C. and 100 A.D., 
founded on the fact that for administrative purposes 
Iconium was united with Lycaonia ; but it is quite con- 
have seen from a still greater distance. The summit of Arga^us is 
single, and though it is higher than Hassan Dagh, being about 
13,000 feet, it could not possibly be visible from such a distance as 
Iconium ; moreover, Hassan Dagh lies right in the way. 

38 S^. Paul in Asia Minor, 

sistent with the view that the Iconians continued to count 
themselves Phrygian, and to distinguish themselves from 
their Lycaonian neighbours even after they were united 
with them in one governmental district. The witness to 
this view actually visited Iconium, came into intimate 
relations with the people, and spoke according to the native 

In the third century another visitor's testimony assigns 
Iconium to Phrygia. The witness is Firmilian, Bishop of 
Csesarea in Cappadocia. It is certain that he had visited 
the city, for he implies that he was present at the council 
held there about 232 A.D.* 

The supposition that the Iconians clung to their old 
nationality, after it had become a mere historical memory 
devoid of political reality, may appear rather hazardous, as 
the ancients are certainly rather loose in using geographical 
terms. But one who has studied the history of Asia Minor 
realises how persistently ethnical and national distinctions 
were maintained, and how strong were the prejudice and 
even antipathy felt by each tribe or nation against its 
neighbours. The Iconians cherished their pride of birth ; 
and in all probability difference of language originally em- 
phasised their diversity from their Lycaonian neighbours. 
It is inconsistent with the whole character of these races 
to suppose that the Phrygians of Iconium could be 
brought to call themselves Lycaonians, and to give up the 
old tribal hatred against their nearest neighbours. It was 
precisely the nearness which accentuated the hatred. 

* See Cyprian, Epist. Ixxv. 7. On the other hand, Ammianus 
speaks of it as a town of Pisidia ; the rearrangement of the provinces 
about A.D. 297 led to this temporary connection, which does not 
concern us. (See Hist. Geogr., p. 393.) 

//. Localities of the First Journey, 39 

This tribal jealousy is characteristic of Asia Minor still. 
The traveller frequently finds the people of two neigh- 
bouring villages differing from each other in manners and 
in dress ; they speak the same language, profess the same 
religion, but have little intercourse with each other and no 
intermarriage ; and each village regards the other as hateful 
and alien.* 

But I should hardly have ventured to state this suppo- 
sition publicly, were I not able to prove it by the testimony 
of the only native of Iconium whose evidence is preserved 
to us. In the year 163 A.D. Hierax, one of the Christians 
associated with Justin Martyr in his trial before the Prefect 
of Rome, Junius Rusticus, was asked by the judge who his 
parents were. He replied, " My earthly parents are dead ; 
and I have come hither (?>., as a slave), torn away from 
Iconium of Phrygia."t 

By this single testimony of a native, preserved in such 
an accidental way, we are enabled to realise that the ex- 
pression in Acts xiv. 6 was contrary to general usage and 
peculiar to Iconium, and that it could hardly have occurred 
except to one who had actually lived in the city and caught 
the tone of its population. It is perhaps unnecessary for 

* After the " Union of the Lycaonians " was established towards 
the middle of the second century after Christ, Iconium was not a 
member ; but we are precluded from using this fact as evidence that 
Iconium still held aloof in social matters from the Lycaonians, for 
it had been made a Roman colony by Hadrian, and as such it was 
raised far above the level of the ** Union "; the colony Lystra, also, 
though originally a Lycaonian city, did not condescend to join it. 

t Rusticus was prefect in A.D. 163, as Borghesi has shown. Hierax 
was in all probability a slave of the Emperor. It is noteworthy that 
Ruinart proposed to change Phr3^gia in the text to Lycaonia, not re- 
cognising the importance of this testimony. (See Acta jfustini^ 3.) 

40 SL Paid in Asia Minor, 

me to reply to the possible objection that Cicero also 
visited Iconium, and yet he calls it part of Lycaonia ; no 
one who has comprehended the reasoning would make this 
objection, Cicero was a Roman governor, who looked on 
Iconium merely as the chief city of the government district. 
He did not mix with the people or catch their expressions. 
He was devoid of interest in the people, the country, the 
scenery, and the antiquities ; the smallest scrap of political 
gossip or social scandal from Rome bulked more largely in 
his mind than the entire interests of Lycaonia. A complete 
change of feeling towards the provincials was produced 
by the Imperial government ; and no better proof of the 
change can be found than the contrast between Pliny's and 
Cicero's letters written from their respective provinces. 

The two instances which have been mentioned in this 
chapter show how accidental is the preservation of the 
knowledge which enables us to refute negative arguments. 
But for the answer given in the Roman trial by a native of 
Iconium in 163 A.D., we should be unable to reply to the 
argument that the phrase in Acts is inaccurate, because 
Iconium was universally entitled Lycaonian in the centuries 
immediately before and after Christ ; and but for the acci- 
dent that in 1884 the present writer persevered in minutely 
examining a hillock in the plain, which had previously 
been passed by other travellers unnoticed, we should be 
unable to answer the presumption that the term " Royal 
Road," as applied to a Roman Imperial road, indicated 
rather a second than a first century date. 

Iconium was, under the Persian Empire, a part of 
Phrygia. Afterwards geographical situation prevailed over 
tribal character, and it came to be recognised by the world 
in general as the chief city of Lycaonia. This may pro- 

//. Localities of the First Jottrney. 41 

bably have taken place during the third century B.C., when 
it was part of the vast kingdom ruled by the Seleucidae of 
Syria. It was perhaps in 63 B.C. that a tetrarchy of Lyca- 
onia, containing fourteen cities, with Iconium as capital, 
was formed. This tetrarchy was given to King Polemo in 
39 B.C. by Mark Antony ; but soon afterwards it passed 
into the hands of King Amyntas, and on his death it 
became a Roman province in 25 B.C. The tetrarchy in- 
cluded Derbe, which was the frontier city of the Roman 
Empire in this quarter down to the year 72 A.D. 

Under the Roman Empire one of the most prominent 
features in the development of society in Asia Minor was 
the way in which it was affected, first by the Greek, and 
afterwards by the Graeco-Roman civilisation. The Greek 
civilisation was dominant in a few great cities, which had 
been founded or reorganised by the Greek kings, and into 
which many foreigners — Greeks, Syrians, and Jews — had 
been introduced. But it never affected the country very 
strongly until Roman organisation began to spread abroad 
that mixture of Greek and Roman ideas which we may style 
the Graeco-Roman civilisation. Few questions relating to 
Asia Minor during the first two centuries of the Empire 
can be understood properly unless we appreciate the true 
character of this movement, which took the form of a con- 
flict between the native, primitive, Oriental, " barbarian " * 
manners of the country and the new European fashion. 
The western civilisation and spirit spread first through the 
towns, and at a later time very slowly through the country 
districts. All who got any education learned the Greek 

* The term ^'barbarian " is, of course, used here to indicate all 
that is opposed in character to ** Graeco-Roman." 

42 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

language, adopted Greek manners, and no doubt Greek 
dress also, called themselves, their children, and their gods 
by Greek names, and affected to identify their religion 
with that of Greece and Rome. All this class of persons 
despised the native language and the native ways ; and 
just as they adopted Greek mythology and Greek anthro- 
pomorphic spirit in religion, so they often professed to be 
connected with, or descended from, the Greeks.* 

In Iconium especially, the metropolis of the tetrarchy, 
the population, we may be sure, prided themselves on their 
modern spirit and their high civilisation ; and they naturally 
distinguished themselves both from the rustics of the 
villages, and from the people of the non-Roman part of 
Lycaonia. Now it is a fact that the latter were called at 
this time Lycaones ; the name appears on the coins of 
Antiochus IV., who was their king from A.D. 38 to 'J2. 
In contrast to them, the Iconians prided themselves on 
belonging to the Roman province ; for the loyalty of the 
Asian provinces to the empire was extraordinarily strong. 
But, if they contrasted themselves with the Lycaonian sub- 
jects of a barbarian king, by what ethnic or geographical 
name could they designate themselves ? " Phrygian " was 
equivalent in popular usage to " slave." There was no 
possible name for them except that which was derived from 

* It is characteristic of the inconsistencies and curiosities of 
" patriotism," that the same persons who stubbornly maintained 
that they were Phrygians in contrast with their Lycaonian neigh- 
bours, were flattered by any suggestion that they were of the 
Greek style and kindred. Myths of the Greek origin of Phrygian 
cities are common (see, e.g., Synnada, Hist. Geogr., p. 14). It would 
have been, of course, treasonable to coquet in anyway with the name 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 43 

the Roman province to which they belonged. I can enter- 
tain no doubt that about 50 A.D. the address by which an 
orator would most please the Iconians, in situations where 
the term " Iconians " was unsuitable, was dvSpe^; TaXdrat, 
" gentlemen of the Galatic province." * This general term 
was still more necessary in addressing a mixed audience 
drawn from various towns of the Roman part of Lycaonia.f 
Some term applicable to all, yet not calculated to grate on 
the ethnic prejudices of any, was needed for purposes of 
courtesy. Besides using this generic term, the skilful orator 
would also introduce allusions to the Greek feeling and 
culture of his audience, assuming that they belonged to the 
more advanced and intelligent part of the population. 

This tone of courtesy and solicitude for the feelings of 
his audience, which we attribute to the supposed orator of 
the period, is precisely the tone in which Paul addresses 
the " Galatians" ; and he introduces in iii. 28 an allusion to 
them as Greeks, when he contrasts them with the Jews. 

The most instructive commentary on St. Paul's way of 
addressing the Galatians is to be found in the orations of 
Dio Chrysostom half a century later, addressed to the people 
of Nicomedeia, of Nicata, of Apameia in Bithynia, and of 
Apameia in Phrygia. In the latter case he pointedly avoids 
an ethnic term : " Phrygians " had a bad connotation, 
" Asians " was too general ; and he .st}-lcs them simply 

* About A.D. 54 the Iconians styled the officer who administered 
them, *' ^procurator of the Galatic province " (C. I. G., 3991). 

t But when we take into account that Antioch also was one of 
the churches addressed, the term "Galatians " becomes still more 
necessary. In the apostrophe, " Ye foolish Galatians," the adjective 
is softened by the polite and general ethnic appellation : it would 
have been personal and rude to say, " Ye foolish Antiochians and 
Iconians," etc. 

44 ►S'/. Patd m Asia Minor. 

" Gentlemen." But he uses the old historic name Kelainai, 
not the modern name Apameia, -and he speaks of their 
country sometimes as Asia, sometimes by the more precise 
geographical term Phrygia. 

An objection may be urged that Christianity was opposed 
to such a tone as is here implied in the civilised towns- 
people towards the ruder population of the uncivilised 
extra-Roman districts. But this objection seems to be out 
of keeping with the facts. The Christian Church in Asia 
Minor was always opposed to the primitive native cha- 
racter. It was Christianity, and not the Imperial govern- 
ment, which finally destroyed the native languages, and 
made Greek the universal language of Asia Minor. The 
new religion was strong in the towns before it had any hold 
of the country parts. The ruder and the less civilised any 
district was, the slower was Christianity in permeating it. 
Christianity in the early centuries was the religion of the 
more advanced, not of the " barbarian," peoples ; and in 
fact it seems to be nearly confined within the limits of the 
Roman world, and practically to take little thought of any 
people beyond, though in theory " Barbarian and Scythian " 
are included in it. 

Why then, it may be asked, does St. Paul counte- 
nance the expression, " the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and 
Derbe"? Simply because in the narrative he is expressing 
himself geographically, and is using the precise words in 
which his advisers and informants might have described 
his route to him when he was arranging his flight from 
Iconium, whereas in the epistle he is using the language of 
polite address. Lystra and Derbe were cities of Lycaonia 
Galatica, i.e., the part of Lycaonia which was attached to 
the province Galatia, while Iconium reckoned itself as a 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 45 

city of Phrygia Galatica, ie.^ the part of Phrygia which was 
attached to the province Galatia. 

The account of Iconium given by Mr. Lewin and by 
Canon Farrar (who is in perfect agreement with him) differs 
greatly from that which has just been given. The latter 
calls it " the capital city of an independent tetrarchy," says 
that it was not in the province Galatia, * and that " the 
diversity of political governments which at this time pre- 
vailed in Asia Minor was so far an advantage to the apostles 
that it rendered them more able to escape from one jurisdic- 
tion to another," In so far as it concerns antiquities, this 
view is against the evidence ; f and, when a correct map is 
before us, we see that Paul did not use the frontier, like the 
modern brigands in Turkish Macedonia, to "dodge the 
law." He did not go out of the Roman province, but 
found safety through the self-government of the various 
cities. He never came into collision with the Roman 
administration on this first journey, but only with the 
city officials ; and the action of the magistrates of Antioch 
had no force beyond the territory that belonged to the 

There is an interesting reading in Codex Bezce^ xiv. 2. 
" The archisynagogoi of the Jews and the rulers of the 
synagogue brought persecution against them Kara rcov 

* I find that this error is widespread. Dr. Salmon, Introduction to 
the New Testament, 1891, Chap. XVIII., p. 323, even employs it to 
get a proof of the historical accuracy of Acts. Coins are extant 
struck by Iconium as a Roman city from the time of Claudius 
onwards ; and it was certainly Roman from B.C. 25. 

t It would be tedious and unsuitable for the present occasion to 
discuss the evidence ; but the allusion to evidence against him made 
by Canon Farrar in note i, p. 378, is sufficient to disprove his own 

46 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

BiKaicov, and stirred up the souls of the Gentiles against 
the brethren. And the Lord quickly gave peace." * 

The officials of the synagogue are here clearly distin- 
guished from the archisynagogoi. The distinction is 
perfectly correct, and makes an important addition to our 
knowledge of the administration of the Jewish synagogues 
in Asia Minor. f Here we find knowledge and truth ; but 
the rest of the sentence shows that the Bezan text is an 
expansion of the original, made by a reviser at a later 
time, when the terminology of persecution was in process 
of formation. Bicoy/jio'^ Kara royu StKaioyv looks like a stock 
phrase, which had established itself in Christian usage. It 
suggests the period when SLcoyfjio<; and the seeking out of 
" the just " for trial were common. In such an age the 
original text " stirred up the souls of the Gentiles, and 
made them evilly affected against the brethren," seemed 
weak. The Christians had become familiar with more 
thorough action on the part of the Gentiles than mere 
ill-will, and they altered the text to suit the facts of their 
time. The original text is true to the time before the 
State had a settled policy towards the Christians, and is 
not true to second-century facts ; whereas the Bezan text 
is an anachronism. A legend seems to have grown up in 
Iconium about St. Paul's experiences there. In the Ac^a 
of Paul and Thekla we have, side by side, an early (probably 
first century) and a late (probably third century) account of 
the treatment to which he was exposed. Midway between 
these accounts, but closer to the first, comes the Bezan text. 

* [ot 6e dp)(^i(rvvdya)yoL tcou ^luvbaicov koL ol cip)(OVT€S Tijs crvvaycoyjjs 
inriyayov avTois di(oyfx6u Kara rSiV biKaioiv, KaV\ cKciKcoaav tcis ^//'u;(ay Ta>v 
idvoiv Kara Ta>v ddeXcpcou- [6 6e Kvpios ebcoKeu Ta^v uprjviju^. 

t See Reinach, Revue des Etudes Juives, vii., i6i ff. ; and 
below, p. 480 


//. Localities of the First Journey. 47 

But if Paul was exposed to thorough Bi(oyfjLo<; of this 
kind, how can we understand the next verse, " Long time 
therefore they tarried there " ? To explain this, the 
reviser, after describing the Bcooy/jLo^, proceeds, " But the 
Lord quickly gave peace." 

6. Lystra. 

Lystra is about six hours S.S.W. from Iconium. The 
road passes for a mile or more through the luxuriant gar- 
dens of the suburbs, and then across the level plain, rising 
gently for twelve miles. Then it reaches a range of hills, 
which stretch outwards in a south-easterly direction from 
the mountainous country that bounds the vast Lycaonian 
plains on the west and separates them from the great 
depression in which are situated the two connected lakes 
Trogitis (Seidi Sheher) and Karalis (Bey Sheher, the largest* 
in Asia Minor). This range, which entails a further ascent 
of 500 feet, diminishes in height towards the east, and 
sinks down to the plain ten miles away. After crossing 
these hills, the road descends into a valley, in breadth about 
a mile, down the centre of which flows a river f towards the 
south-east ; and on the southern bank of the river about a 
mile from the place where the road leaves the hills, stands 

* Tatta covers a larger area — at least, during the summer; but 
great part of i*" is so shallow that horsemen ride through it. 

t This river is wrongly represented in every published map. It 
has had a considerable course before it reaches Khatyn Serai, drain- 
ing a large part of the mountain district, in which Kiepert's latest 
maps represent the water as flowing westwards to Bey Sheher Lake. 
My friend, Professor Sterrett, has erred in this point in his Wolfe 
Ex;pedition, pp. 159 and 190. The map in my Hist. Geogr. is also 
wrong. I examined this point in 1891, but the map was complete 
before that time. 

48 5*/. Paid in Asia Minor. 

the village of Khatyn Serai, " The Lady's Mansion." The 
name dates no doubt from the time of the Seljuk Sultans 
of Roum, when the village was an estate and country resi- 
dence of some sultana from Konia Tas Iconium is now 
called). Its elevation, about 3777 feet above the sea and 
427 above Iconium, fits it for a summer residence.* 

This situation for Lystra was guessed in 1820 by Colonel 
Leake with his wonderful instinct, and was rejected by 
succeeding geographers. To Professor Sterrett belongs the 
credit of having solved this most important problem by 
discovering epigraphic proof that Lystra was situated 
beside Khatyn Serai. 

A little personal reminiscence, concerning the greatest 
disappointment of my exploring experiences, may perhaps 
be pardoned. It gives some idea of the chances of travel, 
and puts in a stronger relief Professor Sterrett's patience 
and skill in exploration, to which we owe the discovery of 
the site of Lystra and all the results that follow from it. 
When I was travelling in 1882 in the company of Sir 
Charles Wilson, we had set our hearts on discovering 
Lystra. Leake's conjecture, confirmed by the fact that 
Hierocles implies Lystra to be near Iconium, turned our 
minds to Khatyn Serai ; and when we heard that it was 
reported to contain great remains, we left Iconium with 
the full expectation of finding Lystra there. But in the 
village six inscriptions were discovered, four of which were 
Latin. This preponderance of Latin inscriptions made 
me certain that a Roman colony must have been situated 
there ; and as Lystra was not a colony, it must be 

* The height of Iconium, 3350, is given by the Ottoman Railway 
Survey ; that of Lystra is calculated from my friend Mr. Headlam's 
aneroid observations. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 49 

looked for elsewhere. Sir C. Wilson did not admit my 
reasoning, and maintained his own opinion that Lystra 
might be there. On the morrow we rode up the water two 
hours' distance to Kilisra, and spent great part of the day 
examining the interesting and really beautiful series of 
churches, cut in the rock, which prove that an ancient 
monastery (rather than a town) was situated there. As we 
returned in the afternoon, our road passed near the ancient 
site beside Khatyn Serai, and we thought of crossing the 
river to examine it. But the day was far spent, and the 
camp had been sent to a village four hours beyond Khatyn 
Serai, so that time was short. Had we gone over * to the 
small hill, to a considerable extent artificial, on which the 
ancient city was built, we should have discovered the large 
inscribed pedestal on which the colony Lystra recorded the 
honour which it paid to its founder, the Emperor Augustus, 
and we should have found that both our opinions were 
right — Sir C. Wilson's that Lystra was situated at Khatyn 
Serai, and mine that a Roman colony was situated there. 
But at that time no evidence was known, no coin of Lystra 
had been preserved to prove that it was a colony ; and the 
fact remained unknown till 1885, when Professor Sterrett's 
exploring instinct guided him to the marble pedestal. Then 
other evidence came to light : M. Waddington possessed 
a coin of the colony Lystra, Dr. Imhoof-Blumer another, 
and the British Museum has recently acquired a third. 

The exact site of Lystra is on a hill in the centre of the 
valley, a mile north of the modern village, and on the 
opposite side of the river. The hill rises about 100 to 150 

* I must bear the blame for this omission. I had had fever, and 
was suffering greatly during that part of the journey, and I was 
ready to take any excuse to get to camp an hour earlier. 


50 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

feet above the plain, and the sides are steep. Few traces 
of ancient buildings remain above the surface. A small 
ruined church of no great antiquity stands in the low 
ground beneath the hill on the south-west ; and beside it 
a fountain gushes forth from beneath a low arch. This 
fountain is still counted sacred, and is called Ayasma {i.e., 
a'^iaa^a), a generic name in Asia Minor for fountains 
visited as sacred by the Christians. As Khatyn Serai is 
a purely Turkish village, this fountain, which has retained 
its character among the Christians of Iconium, must mark 
a spot which was peculiarly sacred in ancient Lystra. 

Situated on this bold hill, Lystra could easily be made a 
very strong fortress, and must have been well suited for its 
purpose of keeping in check the tribes of the mountain 
districts that lie west and south of it. It was the furthest 
east of the fortified cities, which Augustus constructed to 
facilitate the pacification of Pisidia and Isauria ; * and for 
seventy years after its foundation it must have been a town 
of considerable consequence, proud of its Roman character 
and its superior rank. As a Lycaonian town Lystra had 
been quite undistinguished ; as a Roman garrison town it 
was a bulwark of the province Galatia, arid a sister city to 
the great Roman centre at Antioch. A contemporary 
memorial of this pride of relationship is preserved in the 
following inscription found in Antiochf on a pedestal which 
once supported a statue of Concord : — 

** To the very brilliant colony of Antioch her sister the 
very brilliant colony of Lystra did honour by presenting 
the statue of Concord." 

* They were really old cities, which Augustus remodelled and 

t Discovered by Professor Sterrettin 1885 ; recopied by me in 1886. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 51 

When we consider these facts we can hardly hesitate to 
admit that St. Paul might in a letter address the church 
at Lystra by the Roman provincial title, Galatians. 

Much may yet be discovered at Lystra. We should be 
especially glad to find some independent proof that a temple 
of Jupiter before the city {Alo^ II poiroXeco^;) existed there. 
From the many examples of such temples quoted by 
the commentators on Acts, it seems highly probable that 
there was one at Lystra. The nearest and best analogy, 
which is still unpublished, may be mentioned here. At 
Claudiopolis of Isauria, a town in the mountains south-east 
from Lystra, an inscription in the wall of the mediaeval 
castle records a dedication to Jupiter-before-tJie-town (Ad' 
npoadTiw). In 1 890 Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Headlam visited 
Lystra along with me ; and our hope was to fix the 
probable position of the temple and perhaps to discover a 
dedication to the god. In the latter we were disappointed ; 
but there is every probability that some great building once 
stood beside the pedestal dedicated to Augustus. This 
pedestal stands near the hill on the south-east side ; and 
looking from the hill down the valley towards the open 
plain, one cannot fail to see it in front of the city, and the 
signs of concealed ruins beside it. 

The pedestal of Augustus seems to be in its original 
place, and there is every probability that the worship of 
the Imperial founder was connected with the chief temple, 
and that the pedestal was placed in the sacred precinct of 
Zeus, as at Ephesus the Augusteum was built within the 
sacred precinct of Artemis. The other possibility, that 
the Ayasma marks the peribolos of Zeus and retains the 
sacred character attaching to the spot in pre-Christian and 
Chri«;tian times alike, is not so probable. 

52 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

Very little excavation would be needed to verify this 
identification, and probably to disclose the remains of the 
temple, in front of whose gates the sacrifice was prepared 
for the Apostles. 

The text of the Codex Bezce is specially remarkable in 
the case of Lystra. In xiv. 1 3, it preserves a more accurate 
form than the majority of MSS. It has tov ovto^ Alo^ 
TTpo TToXecos* whereas the character of the epithet is lost 
in TOV Alo<; tov ovto^ irpo rr}? TroXeo)?. The participle in 
the phrase tou 6vto<; Alo^ npoTroXeco^ is, as Mr. Armitage 
Robinson points out to me, used in a way characteristic 
of Acts : it introduces some technical phrase, or some 
term which it marks out as having a technical sense 
(compare v. 17, xiii. i, xxviii. 17), and is almost equivalent 
to TOV ovofMa^o/j^ivov. This use has been mistaken in the 
accepted text, and 6W0? has been transposed, and the cha- 
racter of the whole phrase lost. The regular usage of Trpo 
TToXeo)? or UpoTroXew^ is immediately before or after either 
the name of the god, or the word 0e6<i. 

It seems also quite probable that Codex Bezce is more 
true to actual facts in using the plural tepet?. In such a 
sacrifice it would not be the priest of Zeus who brought the 
oxen and the garlands ; these operations would be per- 
formed by minis trz. The strictly correct expression is 
that the priests brought the victims and the garlands ; for 
all the inferior officials of the cultus are included in the 
generic term priests. Our theory of the accuracy of the 
" Travel-Document " inclines us once more to prefer the 

• It is difiicult to determine whether this last word is to be taken 
as two words or one ; probably it was felt to be a single word. In 
an unpublished inscription of Smyrna the phrase Upcia npo TroXewy or 
JlponoXecis occurs. 

//. Localities of the First Journey. 53 

text of Codex Bezce* It is of course quite true that the 
chief priest may be conceived as ordering and guiding 
the whole scene, and therefore the subordinate ministers 
may be left unnoticed. But that is the historian's point 
of view ; whereas the eye-witness, describing a picture 
clear in his memory, sees the subordinates playing a part 
quite as prominent to the eye as the chief priest, and uses 
the plural. 

But in addition to these two points, the abundance of 
minute and yet quite suitable details in this episode is a 
notable feature in Codex Bezce. In xiv, 7, it adds, '* And 
the whole multitude was moved at their teaching : and 
Paul and Barnabas abode in Lystra." The reviser who 
added this (for we cannot accept it as original, as we did 
the two variants in xiv. 13) felt that something was wanting 
here to make the narrative run on clearly ; but his addition is 
not successful, and does not render the sequence of thought 
perfect. I have (pp. 68-9) remarked that I do not clearly 
comprehend the received text in this place.f If I were 
required to advance a theory about the passage, it would be 
that the author of Acts, reproducing the account given 
by Paul, had not clearly caught the sense and sequence 
of his narrative jk^and that we have here a trace of the 
imperfect medium through which a report substantially 

* If, on the other hand, it be considered more probable that the 
reviser, whose work has been preserved to us in Codex BezcB, has 
here restored accuracy and individuality to a story that he found 
badly related in the text before hitn, this will only strengthen the 
argument which is urged in Chap. VIII., that he was intimately 
acquainted with the antiquities of Asia Minor, and probably a 
native of the country. 

t In V. 9 Bez. reads with Alex., TjKovo-ev, heard {o7z aii occasion), 
for fJKovev, was a regular hearer : this exaggerates the marvel. 

54 Sf. Paul in Asia Minor. 

emanating from Paul himself has reached us. The variant 
given by Codex Bezce in xiv. 19* is distinctly an alter- 
ation made by a person who worked up the text with 
minute care, and was offended by the order of the two 
city names. The order of the original text suited the 
circumstances of A.D. 45, but not those of the second 
century, which alone were familiar to the reviser. The 
reviser was offended by the strange order, and made what 
he thought an improvement. 

Such an altera.tion could only have been made by a 
person to whom the topography was so familiar, that even 
the slightest deviation from the natural order offended him : 
in that case the revision must have been made in Asia Minor 
by a native of the country. 

7. Derbe. 

The site of Derbe is not established on such certain 
evidence as that of Lystra. The credit of reaching ap- 
proximate accuracy about its situation belongs again to 
Professor Sterrett. His argument was that " in reading the 
account [in Acts xiv.], one is impressed with the idea that 
Derbe cannot be far from Lystra." f He therefore placed 
Derbe between the villages Bossola and Zosta, which are 
only about two miles distant from each other, and "the 
ruins of which, being so near together, represent one and 
the same ancient city." But after visiting the district in 
1890, I should say that Bossola is only a Scljuk khan and 
halting-place on a great road, and that the remains at Zosta 
are not in sitn, but have all been carried. The great site 

* " Iconium and Antioch " in place of " Antioch and Iconium." 
t Wolfe Ex^editio7ty p. 22,. 


//. Localities of the Fii'st Joitrney. 55 

of this district is at Gudelissin, three miles W.N.W. from 
Zosta. Professor Sterrett rightly observes that " here a large 
mound, in every way similar to the Assyrian Tels, shows 
many traces of an ancient village or town." But after 
thus correctly estimating the antiquity of the site, he 
proceeds to say with less accuracy that " most of the 
remains must be referred to Christian influence."* 

Gudelissin is the only site in this district where a city 
of the style of Derbe, the stronghold of " the robber 
Antipater," could be situated. The remains at Zosta have 
been taken from it, so that it now presents a bare and 
poor appearance ; but excavation in the mound, which is 
obviously to a great extent artificial, would certainly reveal 
many traces of a very old city, of the style of Tyana 
or Zcla. The mound belongs to that class which Strabo 
entitles " mounds of Semiramis," and which are a sure 
sign of ancient origin and Oriental character. On this 
deserted site excavation would be comparatively inexpen- 
sive, the ground could be had for a few pounds, labour in 
those remote parts costs little, and no difficulty would be. 
experienced with the excavated soil. 

Derbe was the frontier city of the Roman province on 
the south-east, and on this account a certain importance 
attached to it, which led Claudius to remodel its constitu- 
tion and to honour it with the name Claudib-Derbe. Pro- 
bably this took place in the earlier part of his reign ; and 
the hypothesis may be hazarded that Iconium was made 
jealous by such an honour to another city of the Tetrarchy, 

* The site must have been inhabited till a comparatively recent 
time, as there is a large ruined building of no very ancient date on 
the upper part of the mound. This building is prominent in the 
photograph which Mr. Hogarth took of the site. 

56 5/. Paul in Asia Minor. 

and by representations at Rome succeeded In obtaining 
the same honour towards the end of Claudius' reign, 
A.D. 50-54.* 

8. Character of Lycaonia in the first 


The preceding description of the political situation in 
Lycaonia in the first half of the first century shows how 
mistaken are some of the statements which are commonly 
made about St. Paul's action on this journey. C. H. con- 
sider that " after the cruel treatment they had experienced 
in the greater towns on a frequented route," the Apostles 
retired to a wilder region, " into which the civilisation of the 
conquering and governing people had hardly penetrated," 
viz., to Lystra and Derbe. We now see that Lystra was a 
town of precisely the opposite character, a centre and 
stronghold for the " civilisation of the governing people." 
Paul's procedure was very different from that suggested by 
C. H. So far from going to the less civilised parts, he 
always sought out the great civilised centres. The towns 
which he visited for the sake of preaching were, as a rule, the 
centres of civilisation and government in their respective 
districts — Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi. 
He must have passed through several uncivilised Pisidian 

* The approximate date is assured by C. I. G., 3991, if we may 
assume that the title ktistes there appHcd to Pupius Praesens, pro- 
curator of Galatia about 53-55, implies that the remodelling of 
Jconium was conducted by him. The governor of Galatia about this 
time was M. Annius Afrinus. A coin of Claudiconium bearing his 
portrait is preserved at Paris in the national collection, and has been 
published by M. Babelon {Melanges Num., p. 57). Governors 
and procurators regularly held office for a number of years at this 
time. Afrinus was succeeded by Petronius Umber about 54. 

//. Localities of the First Jonrney. 57 

towns, such as Adada and Misthia and Vasada ; but nothing 
is recorded about them. He preached, so far as we are in- 
formed, only in the centres of commerce and of Roman life, 
and among these ranked Lystra Colonia and Claudio- 

This point is one of peculiar importance in studying the 
effect produced by the Christian religion on the Roman 
world. It spread at first among the educated more rapidly 
than among the uneducated ; nowhere had it a stronger 
hold (as Mommsen observes) than in the household and at 
the court of the emperors. Where Roman organisation and 
Greek thought have gone, there Paul by preference goes. 

Moreover it must be mentioned that in the ruder parts 
of Lycaonia Paul could not have made himself understood. 
He had to go where Greek was known ; and it is pretty 
certain that at this time Greek was known only in the 
more important cities, and that there the people were 
probably for the most part bilingual. In Lystra the 
Roman settlers no doubt knew Latin as well as Greek, 
while the native inhabitants, who were much more 
numerous, spoke both Greek and their native language. 
Greek then, and- not Latin or Lycaonian, would be the 
common language of these two classes of the population. 

In reference to the sacrifice and worship which were 
tendered to Paul as Hermes and Barnabas as Zeus,* it 
would be quite a misconception to suppose that faith in 
the old native religion was stronger in Lystra than in more 
civilised towns, as is implied by C. H. and by Canon Farrar. 

* True to the Oriental character, the Lycaonians regarded the 
active and energetic preacher as the inferior and the more silent 
and statuesque figure as the leader and principal. 

58 S^. Paul 171 Asia Minor, 

Where the Graeco-Roman civilisation had established itself, 
the old religion survived as strongly as ever, but the deities 
were spoken of by Greek, or sometimes by Roman, names, 
and were identified with the gods of the more civilised 
races. This is precisely what we find at Lystra : Zeus and 
Hermes are the names of the deities as translated into 
Greek, but the old Lycaonian gods are meant and the 
Lycaonian language was used, apparently because, in a 
moment of excitement, it rose more naturally to the lips of 
the people than the cultured Greek language. It is note- 
worthy that those to whose lips Lycaonian rose so readily 
were not converts, but the common city mob. 

The commentators aptly compare the pretty tale, local- 
ised in these plains, of the visit paid by the same two gods 
to the old couple, Philemon and Baucis.* For the right 
understanding of the story, we must remember that in this 
Asian religion Zeus and Hermes are the embodiment of 
two different aspects of the ultimate divinity, " the god," 
who was represented sometimes as Zeus, sometimes as 
Hermes, sometimes as Apollo, according to the special 
aspect which was for the moment prominent. 

The attitude of the native priests towards the Christian 
missionaries is described in connection with the attitude of 
the Ephesian priesthood. (See below, p. 144.) 

* Philemon and Baucis alone received the two gods into their hut, 
when their Phr3'gian neighbours denied shelter to the strangers. 
The gods afflicted the country with a flood, and saved only Philemon 
and Baucis, whom they led up to a hill. On this hill a temple was 
built to Zeus, and Philemon and Baucis became its guardians : finally 
they died at the same moment, and their spirits passed into trees. 
The reading of Ovid, Mefafn. VIII. , 719, which puts the scene at 
Tyana, is not certain. 





AFTER these topographical and historical details, it is 
proposed, as the next part of our task, to go over 
the first missionary journey as a plain narrative of travel 
and adventure, and to show how the references, which St. 
Paul in his letter to the Galatian churches makes to his 
experiences when he first preached to them, work in with 
the narrative in Acts xiii. and xiv. to produce a consistent 
picture. On the theory (which the present writer is con- 
cerned to maintain) that Acts xiii., xiv. are founded on, or 
even embody, with some slight modifications and additions, 
a document written under the immediate influence of Paul 
himself, it is absolutely necessary that the epistle should 
agree with and complete the narrative in Acts. Herein 
lies what is generally counted one of the strong points of 
the North-Galatian view : it is contended that the details 
of the visit to the Galatians mentioned in the epistle are 
inconsistent with the account of the journey in South 
Galatia given in Acts xiii., xiv. If that be the case, I fully 
acknowledge that the North-Galatian view must be adopted 
in spite of the numerous difficulties attending it ; but then, 
as I hope to show, it must be admitted that the account of 
the second journey in Acts xvi. is inaccurate in itself, and 
written by one who had not access to a trustworthy account 
of the facts. 


6o 5/. Paul in Asia Minor. 

Let us try to realise the facts of the journey and the 
situation of the Apostles. How were they guided on this 
particular route ? At certain points in this and in other 
journeys we are told what was the guiding impulse ; a 
vision led Paul from Asia into Europe ; the Spirit ordered 
him not to preach in Asia, and not even to enter Bithynia. 
In the first journey they were sent forth by the Holy Spirit 
" for the work whereunto I have called them " ; and Paul 
explains in Galatians that the work was to preach among 
the Gentiles (i. i6 ff.). There can be no doubt that the 
expression in Gal. i. 15, 16 tallies exactly with that in 
Acts xiii. I, and that it would be appropriate for Paul 
to address to the churches which he founded on his first 
missionary journey an elaborate argument in favour of his 
special call to Gentile work.* 

It is not stated that the Holy Spirit prescribed the details 
of the route. How then should Paul and Barnabas pro- 
ceed ? To leave Syria they must go first to Seleuceia, the 
harbour of Antioch, where they would find ships going 
south to the Syrian coast and Egypt, and west either by 
way of Cyprus or along the coast of Asia Minor. The 
western route led towards the Roman world, to which all 
Paul's subsequent history proves that he considered himself 
called by the Spirit. The Apostles embarked in a ship for 
Cyprus, which was very closely connected by commerce 
and general intercourse with the Syrian coast. After 
traversing the island from east to west, they must go 
onward. Ships going westward naturally went across to 

* I do not argue that it would be less appropriate in writing to 
other churches. I am onl)' concerned to show that it is appropriate 
on the South-Galatian theory. 

///. S^ PauV s First Journey. 6i 

the coast of Pamphylla, and the Apostles, after reaching 
Paphos, near the west end of Cyprus, sailed in one of these 
ships, and landed at Attalia in Pamphylia. 

In the east a man with a day's journey before him 
always rises early in the morning ; and similarly we may 
feel fairly confident that in view of this great expedition 
the Apostles started early in the year, in April, when the 
season for navigation began.* It is not possible to allow 
less than two months in Cyprus, where they preached in 
the Jewish synagogues along their route. We must allow 
a certain time in each of the Jewish settlements to enable 
the Apostles to test the feeling of the town before they 
proceeded on their way in search of a favourable opening ; 
and yet, if the document possesses vividness and direct 
accuracy, it is hardly consistent with the language to 
suppose that they stayed very long at any place. Nothing 
of permanent interest occurred until they reached Paphos ; 
and even there the words describing their experience do 
not suggest any prolonged stay. It seems then a fair and 
natural interpretation of the document to place their 
arrival in Pamphylia in the latter part of June. Some 
slight stay at Perga is implied by the dissension which 
was caused by the proposal to cross Taurus to the upper 
country ; then they proceeded to the interior without 
preaching at Perga or in Pamphylia. 

We can hardly suppose that this was part of the original 
scheme, for John Mark was willing to come into Pam- 
phylia with them, but not willing to go on into the country 
north of Taurus, and therefore he evidently considered 
that the latter proposal was a departure from the original 

* C. H. adopt this view. 

62 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

scheme. Cyprus and Pamphylia were countries of similar 
situation to Cilicia and Syria, and in the closest possible 
relations with them, whereas it was a serious and novel 
step to go into the country north of Taurus. We need not 
therefore suppose that John Mark was actuated solely or 
mainly by cowardice ; the facts of the situation show that 
he could advance perfectly plausible arguments against the 
change of plan, which was to carry their work into a region 
new in character and not hitherto contemplated by the 
church. It seems no unwarrantable addition, but a plain 
inference from the facts, to picture the dissension as pro- 
ceeding on lines like these ; and it relieves John Mark 
from a serious charge, which is not quite in keeping with 
his boldness in orginally starting on this first of missionary 
journeys. What then was the motive of Paul and Barnabas 
in taking this new step ? Evidently the Spirit did not 
order them, for we are precluded from supposing that John 
Mark actually disobeyed the Divine injunction which he 
had already obeyed in coming to Cyprus and Pamphylia ; 
and moreover we are not justified in interpolating such 
Divine action in the narrative without express warrant in 
its own words. Was it that circumstances independent of 
their own will dictated this change? To this question 
Paul himself gives the answer. " Ye know," he says to the 
Galatians, " that because of an infirmity of the flesh I 
preached the gospel to you the first time " (iv. 13). 

Every one who has travelled in Pamphylia knows how 
relaxing and enervating the climate is. In these low-lying 
plains fever is endemic ; the land is so moist as to be 
extraordinarily fertile and most dangerous to strangers. 
Confined by the vast ridges of Taurus, 5,000 to 9,000 feet 
high, the atmosphere is like the steam of a kettle, hot, 

///. St PauVs First Journey, 63 

moist, and swept by no north winds. Coming down in 
July 1890 from the north side of Taurus for a few days to 
the coast east of Pamphylia, I seemed to feel my physical 
and mental powers melting rapidly away. I might spend a 
page in quoting examples,* but the following fact bears so 
closely on our present purpose that it must be mentioned. 
In August 1890 I met on the Cilician coast an English 
officer on his way home from three years' duty .in Cyprus : 
previously he had spent some years in Eastern service. He 
said that the climate of the Cilician coast (which is very 
similar to that of Pamphylia, and has not any worse repu- 
tation for unhealthiness) reminded him of Singapore or 
Hong-kong, while that of Cyprus was infinitely fresher 
and more invigorating. 

We suppose then that Paul caught fever on reaching 
Perga. Here it may be objected by those who have no 
experience of such a situation that Paul was used to the 
climate of Cilicia and Syria ; why should he suffer in Pam- 
phylia ? In the first place, no one can count on immunity 
from fever, which attacks people in the most capricious 
way. In the second place, it was precisely after fatigue and 
hardship, travelling on foot through Cyprus amid great 
excitement and mental strain, that one was peculiarly liable 
to be affected by the sudden plunge into the enervating 
atmosphere of Pamphylia. The circumstances implied in 
the epistle are thereibre in perfect keeping with the nar- 
rative in Acts ; each of the authorities lends additional 
emphasis and meaning to the other. 

A bad attack of malarial fever, such as we suppose to 

* The Rev. Mr. Daniell, who travelled with Spratt and Forbes, 
died of fever at Attalia, a few miles from Perga. 

64 St Paul in Asia Minor, 

have befallen St. Paul in Pamphylia, could not be described 
better than in the words in which Lightfoot (an advocate of 
the North-Galatian theory) sums up the physical infirmity 
implied in the Epistle iv. 13-15 : "A return of his old 
malady, * the thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan sent 
to buffet him,' some sharp and violent attack it would 
appear, which humiliated him and prostrated his physical 
strength." I appeal to all who have experience, whether 
this is not a singularly apt description of that fever, which 
has such an annoying and tormenting habit of catching 
one by the heel just in the most inconvenient moments, 
in the midst of some great effort, and on the eve of 
some serious crisis, when all one's energies are specially 

The treatment for such an illness would be prescribed 
by universal consent as either the sea or the high lands of 
the interior. Thus the remarks which have been made 
above, page 17, acquire much pertinence, now that we have 
succeeded in eliciting the probable character of the case. 
In this way Paul and Barnabas were led to visit the Jewish 
settlement of Antioch, and the evangelisation of the 
Galatian churches was due to " an infirmity of the flesh." 

On the North-Galatian theory, I fail to comprehend the 
situation implied in Gal. iv. 13. It is remarkable that the 
long toilsome journey, involving great physical and mental 

* I have not in the slightest word or detail altered my description 
to suit the case. The sentence in the text has been often in my 
mouth in describing what I have seen; and the words "catching 
by the heel " have become with me a stock phrase to describe the 
behaviour of this fever, when chronic. Lightfoot's quotation from 
2 Cor. xii. 7 has no certain connection with the present case ; but the 
connection is generally admitted. 

///. S^, Pa^W s First Jotirney, 65 

effort, and yet voluntarily undertaken, should be described 
as the result of a severe illness ; such a result from such a 
cause is explicable only in certain rare circumstances. We 
have seen that the result naturally follows from a Pam- 
phylian illness. On the other hand, I cannot see any 
possible circumstances in which a preaching tour in North 
Galatia could be due to an illness during the second 
journey. Let those who advocate that theory suggest 
some actual facts and details which are in accordance with 
the situation and the record. But this is a point to which I 
shall return in Chapter IV., p. 86. 

It may be suggested in objection to our theory, that 
if so much importance attaches to this illness, a document 
composed under St. Paul's influence would make some 
reference to it. In answer, it might be sufficient to ask 
whether St. Paul's character would make us expect from 
him a formal reference to his illness.* But suppose the 
reference made, what is the result ? It would be hardly 
possible in such a brief account to speak of the illness with- 
out giving a worse tone to the action of Mark than it 
fairly deserved ; and the silence preserved in regard to it 
is perhaps not unconnected with this fact. 

The attack described in the letter to the Galatians need 
not be understood as lasting long ; that is not the character 
of such attacks. But the journey to Antioch could not be 
made rapidly. At the ordinary rate of twenty miles per 
day it would need eight days ; but we must allow a slower 
progress in this case. The latter part of July, on the con- 
ception we have formed of the journey, is the earliest date 

* Compare the experiences which become known to us only in- 
cidentally through the passage 2 Cor. xi. 23 ff. 


66 5/. Patil in Asia Minor. 

when the Apostle can have reached Antioch ; and the 
beginning of August is more probable. About that time 
the journey to the upper country would be most im- 
peratively required for a fever-struck patient ; whereas 
after the middle of September a journey to the plateau 
would no longer be recommended. 

The motives which might lead the Jewish strangers to 
select Antioch have been already described. (See p. 19.) We 
suppose Paul and Barnabas to have arrived there. After 
some days' stay they turned from the Jews to the Gen- 
tiles. Among them it is clear from Acts xiii. 48-9, and 
Gal. iv. 13-15, that Paul was welcomed gladly, was treated 
with extraordinary affection, with kindly solicitude as 
an invalid, and with admiration as a teacher. These two 
passages fit into each other perfectly. It may also be 
noticed that the hospitality with which Onesiphorus w^ent 
out to meet and invite Paul to his house, in the romance of 
St. Thekla,* may be treated as implying some tradition 
with regard to the hearty welcome extended to the Apostles 
in the whole of this region. 

They resided in Antioch for some time. A certain 
interval is required for the recorded effect, — " the word 
of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region " 
Two months is the minimum that can be allowed for such 
widespread effect. On the other hand, the stay in Antioch 
is not said to be " long," as is that in Iconium. We may 
estimate a " long time " {iKavov y^povov) by comparison with 
Paul's later journeys. He stayed " a long time " {iKava^ 
i)fjiepa<;, xviii. 18) at Corinth after the trial before Gallio, 
and as we know that the whole duration of his residence 

* See above, p. 31. 

///. SL Paiirs First Journey. 67 

there was eighteen months, this phrase must denote some 
period Hke six to ten months. We may fairly suppose a 
similar time to have been spent at Iconium, let us say 
eight months ; whereas at Antioch he resided less than 
six months, and not less than two. Moreover if we may 
assume that the new magistrates at Antioch came into 
office, according to the general Asian fashion,* on Septem- 
ber 23rd, it is probable that any machinations against the 
Apostles, would be directed to influence not the retiring, but 
the incoming, magistrates. After entering on office, the 
new magistrates would be occupied with pressing official 
duties in their first days ; and the middle or end of October 
is likely to have been the earliest time at which they could 
attend to the complaints made by the influential classes 
against Paul. All this leads us to the conclusion that the 
three or four days' journey to Iconium falls in the latter 
part of October, or in November, and that the whole winter 
was spent in Iconium. 

A point which illustrates and is illustrated by the 
state of society in Asia Minor, is the influence exerted on 
the Apostles' fortunes in Antioch by the women. The 
honours and influence which belonged to women in the 
cities of Asia Minor form one of the most remarkable 
features in the history of the country. In all periods the 
evidence runs on the same lines. On the border between 
fable and history we find the Amazons. The best authenti- 
cated cases of Mutterrecht belong to Asia Minor. Under 
the Roman Empire we find women magistrates, presidents 

* It is, however, quite possible that the Roman year was used in 
the colony, and that the magistrates entered on office, according to 
the Roman fashion, on January ist. 

6S Sf. Paul in Asia Minor. 

at games, and loaded with honours.* The custom of the 
country influenced even -the Jews, who in at least one case 
appointed a woman at Smyrna to the position of archi- 
synagogos.f It would be strange if the women had not 
exercised some influence over St. Paul's fortunes. 

The journey to Iconium was probably performed in 
greater ease and comfort, perhaps in a carriage. The 
Apostles had now many friends, and Paul lays special stress 
on their extraordinary anxiety to give him anything in 
their power that could be of service to him % (Gal. iv. 15) ; 
this implies a liberal and overflowing hospitality, and quite 
naturally includes help in his actual journey, recommenda- 
tions to residents at Neapolis, Misthia, and other towns on 
the way, and the use of horses for the journey. 

The hurried flight from Iconium to Lystra, according to 
our reckoning, took place about June. It is difficult to find 
an indication of time in the following part of the narrative, 
it seems to be implied (xiv. 6) that the Apostles' residence 
in this district was not confined to a certain time in Lystra, 
and then a certain time in Derbe, but that they made 
some excursions, and remained in the district engaged 
in missionary work. I must, however, confess that the 
language here is vague, and I do not comprehend it 

* Examples have been collected with much diligence by M. Paris 
in his treatise, Quafemcs femincB in Asia Minore res publicas 
aitigerint ; but the conclusions which he draws appear to me 
unsatisfactory, and the tone of the writer is rather flippant and 

t See Neubauer in Studia Biblica, i., p. 70; Reinach in Reznce 
des Etudes Jiiives, vii., p. 161. 

\ Mere attention to Paul in sickness is not enough to explain the 
words in Gal. iv. 15 ; the actual giving or offering of their own valued 
possessions is necessarily included. 

///. 5/. Paur s First Jou7'ney. 69 

clearly.* During the heat of summer this country district 
would be much cooler and pleasanter than the city oi 
Iconium, though even there the heat is not excessive, and 
the suburban gardens are agreeable. 

During this residence in the Tsaurian hill country, certain 
Jews came to Lystra from Antioch and Iconium. If we 
may judge from modern experience^ these Jews were traders 
of the class of brokers or middle-men, who were speculating 
in the approaching harvest, and came to look after their 
business. Greeks and Armenians play among the primitive 
natives at the present day exactly the part which I attribute 
to the Jews in the first century, buying up the grain and 
other produce from the agricultural population, and export- 
ing it to harbours on the south coast, or selling it in retail 
trade in the citles.f If this supposition is correct, August 
is a very likely month for their coming to Lystra, and the 
stoning of Paul would come some weeks later. The two 
days' journey to Dcrbe % would then fall perhaps as late as 
September. Three months is no exaggerated allowance 
for the effect produced at Dcrbe, " making many disciples." 
That brings us at least to the end of November. After that 
season the passes over Taurus are liable to be blocked by 
snow, and are at best very trying and difficult to cross. 
What, then, were the Apostles to do ? The journey across 

* In the country round about, among the Isaurian hills, it is highly 
improbable that the Apostles could speak to the rustic population, 
who were, it is practically certain, ignorant of Greek till a far later 

t The tithes were no doubt also farmed by speculators, as at present 
in some districts. Some of these visitors might be agents of the 
co.npany of speculators. 

X The distance is about ten or eleven hours, and might be done in 
one day ; but Paul was not in vigorous health (p. 64). 

70 St Paul in Asia Minor. 

Taurus was described to them as impossible. They were at 
the extremcst Hmit of Roman territory, and could not go 
further forward to preach, except by entering the kingdom 
of Antiochus. Now it is not a too fanciful idea that St. 
Paul may already have begun to realise the great concep- 
tion (which he certainly realised afterwards) of Christianity 
as the religion of the Roman Empire, and was already con- 
firmed in his preference for centres of Roman life and 
influence. In this situation the Apostles resolved to return 
by the way they had come, and to take the opportunity of 
organising the administration of the newly founded com- 
munities, all of which they had been obliged to leave quile 

The Apostles had been expelled, or had fled in danger of 
their lives, from Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra ; and it is 
clear that the riotous action of the populace had been con- 
nived at, or even encouraged, by the magistrates. How 
then could they venture to re-enter the cities against the 
authority of the magistrates ? 

The question touches on a branch of ancient law — viz., 
the powers and rights of the magistrates in such provincial 
cities — which is so obscure that we cannot answer it with 
certainty or confidence, but can only indicate some proba- 
bilities. It is worth notice that the magistrates of Antioch 
seem to have taken a more decided action than those of 
Iconium or Lystra. Antioch was a Roman colony and an 
administrative centre ; and it is quite natural that its 
magistrates should be of higher rank, and should venture 
on bolder action. 

We may take it for granted that Roman law and custom 
prevailed in the Roman colonies, Antioch and Lystra ; and 
in all probability they exercised great influence even in 

///. SL Fatd's First Journey. 71 

Iconium. We may then understand that the magistrates 
could not permanently banish any person from the city ; 
but that, in the exercise of their powers for the preservation 
of peace and order, they could go to very great lengths in 
the way of summary punishment against any individuals 
whose action or presence was inconsistent with peace and 
order. They could turn them out of the city (though not 
permanently exile them), they could tear their clothes, 
inflict personal indignities on them, or beat them (unless 
they were Roman citizens). But the punishments which 
they inflicted caused no permanent disability, except in so 
far as the mere physical effect might be indelible ; they 
could not pass sentence of death or of exile. The person 
who was turned out of the city might return after a little ; 
but of course he would be wise not to return so long as the 
magistrate who ejected him remained in office. 

But though the magistrates could not punish a culprit 
ivith death, " a regrettable incident," such as a popular riot, 
might occasionally occur, leading to the death of an ob 
noxious individual, and mildly blamed in public by the 
magistrates, who privately rejoiced at it. Hence in Iconium 
and Lystra we may be pretty sure that the magistrates 
connived at the stoning intended in the one case, and 
effected in the other ; but it was only by such irregular 
proceedings that the death of the missionaries could be 
compassed. The magistrates could take no overt action. 

It would appear then that Paul and Barnabas had been 
before the magistrates of Antioch, possibly of Iconium 
(p. 46), but not of Lystra. But even in Antioch the orders 
of the magistrates inflicted on them no permanent disability, 
and in Lystra they had been the victims of illegal conduct 
so extreme that they had acquired a strong legal position. 

72 5/. Paul in Asia Minor. 

They were legally free also to return to Iconium and 
Antioch, but in common prudence they would hardly re- 
turn until new magistrates came into office. Now, according 
to the account of the journey which has just been given, it 
appears that new magistrates had already been appointed 
in all three towns.* 

The rest of the winter then was spent in Lystra, Iconium, 
and Antioch. The magistrates and the Jews are not 
again referred to ; it is probable that the Apostles' freedom 
from interference was gained by their refraining from such 
open preaching as before, while they devoted themselves to 
organising some kind of self-government in the congrega- 
tions. Some years later, we know that Paul could direct 
the Galatian churches to make weekly contributions for the 
benefit of the poor at Jerusalem ; and this implies officials 
and a system of administration. It was not before the 
middle of May in the following year that the Apostles could 
venture to cross the Pisidian mountains. They perhaps 
spent June in Perga, and in July, after an absence of two 
years and four months, they may have reached the Syrian 
Antioch once more. 

It will strike every reader that the estimates of time 
given in the preceding sketch of the Apostle's journeys are 
the lowest possible in view of the effects produced. A 
certain amount of time is necessary in order that two 
unknown strangers should first gain a hearing, and then 
make many converts and establish a permanent congrega- 

* Unless the magistrates in the colony of Lystra entered office on 
January ist. But Lystra was the town in which St. Paul's legal 
position was strongest. A Roman citizen, violently assaulted by the 
populace, had a very strong case. 

///. Si. PaiiT s First Journey. "jt^ 

tion in a city where the established rcHgion was so opposite 
in character to that which they preached. Many may 
think that our estimates err by being too short ; and it is 
quite possible that they ought to be lengthened. Probably 
hardly any one will consider that they are too long. 

Note. — To the statement that Paul would be unlikely to cross 
Taurus in winter or spring, it may be objected that Cicero travelled 
from Tarsus to Laodicea on the Lycus, starting on January 5th, 
B.C. 50- But the activity and energy of a Roman officer must not 
be taken as a standard for the action of two humble foot-passengers. 
Paul's action must be estimated according to the ideas of the natives. 
Cicero could have reported to him when the road through the Cilician 
gates was in good condition, and free from snow. Starting from 
Tarsus, and travelling with the advantages of a Roman official, he 
could reach the gates (about thirty -six Roman miles distant) the 
same day. But Paul could not so easily receive a report as to the 
condition of the pass. At Derbe he was about a hundred and eighty 
Roman miles from the gates; and, if he started, he was liable to 
great hardships, and perhaps long detention on the way. Snow in 
winter, and heavy rains in spring, are a misery to the traveller. 
According to native ideas neither a sea-voyage, nor the crossing 
of Taurus, should be undertaken in winter; but both could, and 
occasionally did, take place. 



ST. PAUL'S second journey took place some years later 
than the first. The intermediate period he had spent 
chiefly in Antioch, but partly in a journey to Jerusalem.* 
He had now old friends in South Galatia to visit, and he 
went in the first place straight to them. Accompanied by 
Silas, he passed through Cilicia, crossed Taurus no doubt 
by the Cilician Gates, and came first to Derbe, and then 
to Lystra, where he found a disciple named Timothy, son 
of a Jewess by a Greek father. He resolved to take 
Timothy with him, and in order to conciliate the pre- 
judices of the Jews, who were numerous in these regioi 

* It was probably not less than a year after the Apostles hac 
returned when they started for Jerusalem ; the expression xpovov 
ovK ok'iyov is an emphatic expression, which may quite well denote 
an even longer period. Mr. Lewin, in his singularly useful work, 
Fasti Sacri, p. 288, No. 1722, argues from the fact that "Paul 
and Barnabas related the conversion of the Gentiles" during their 
journey to Jerusalem, that no very long interval had elapsed since 
their return from their journey in Asia Minor, "as otherwise their 
success among the Gentiles would have been sufficiently well 
known." This argument is dubious. They are not said to give the 
first news ; it is perhaps implied by the word selected {eKdnryovixevoi) 
that the communities on their way had already heard of the fact 
generally, and took the opportunity of learning the full details from 
the missionaries. After they returned from Jerusalem, a consider- 
able stay in Antioch is again implied. 

IV. The Second Journey, 75 

he performed on him that operation which the Hebrew 
rehgion required in the case of all males. This can hardly 
have been done merely for the sake of the Jews in Lystra, 
Iconium, and Antioch, whom Paul already knew to be 
hostile to him. It implies that he had the intention of 
preaching in other towns where Jews lived, through 
whom he would as usual make a beginning. As we 
shall see, he was evidently thinking of going on westward 
into the province Asia. 

The passage xvi. 4-6 is one of extreme obscurity ; 
but it must be examined, for the decision of the contro- 
versy as to the signification of the term Galatia depends 
on the meaning to be taken out of it. It appears that 
Paul, after leaving Lystra with Silas and Timothy, spent 
some time in the country, for it is clearly implied in 
verses 4 and 5, that they taught and preached \\\ " the 
cities " on their route. We may then conclude that they 
visited those cities of the district where Paul had so many 
friends and converts, Iconium and Antioch ; and it was 
in all probability while they were in Antioch that they 
were " forbidden of the Holy Ghost to speak the word 
in Asia." The prohibition implies a previous intention 
on their part, by which Paul's action hitherto had been 

When their first plan was thus altered, they turned 
northwards, with the intention of entering Bithynia, pre- 
suming that they would be allowed to preach there. But 
when they came opposite Mysia,* and tried to continue 

* I understand Kara here in the sense which it has, e.g., in 
Acts xxvii. 7, KaTo. Kvidov, or in Herodotus I. 76, Kara Sij/wttt/z/ — " when 
they reached such a point that a Hne drawn across the country at 
right angles to the general line of their route would touch Mysia." 

76 SL Paul m Asia Minor. 

their northward route into Bithynia, " the Spirit of Jesus 
suffered them not." They were compelled to turn west- 
wards ; and keeping along the southern frontier of Mysia, 
they reached Troas, whence they sailed to Macedonia. 

The language of this passage clearly implies that they 
were forbidden to preach, but not to travel in Asia ; 
whereas they were forbidden even to set foot in Bithynia. 
Accordingly, when they found about Antioch that they 
must not preach in Asia, they went straight north through 
the Phrygian parts of Asia, intending to preach as soon as 
they reached Bithynia ; but of course they understood that 
the Phrygian country which they crossed was part of Asia, 
and forbidden to them for preaching.* 

This interpretation gives a definite picture of a probable 
route, which lies fairly in the words. I can find no such 
picture in any of the other interpretations that have 
been advanced, and I do not see any other satisfactory 
possibility. There are two difficulties in the interpretation. 
First, we have to take certain terms in the Roman sense, 

In the passage of Herodotus this implies a line from north to south ; 
here it implies a line from east to west. Wendt understands " to 
the border of Mysia." This would come to nearly the same result, 
taking Mysia in the wide sense which it has in Ptolemy and which 
is mentioned in Strabo as common. I should suppose that about 
Nakoleia they found that their northward route was prevented ; 
Wendt's view would involve that they realised this somewhere near 
Kotiaion. They had two roads possible from Antioch into Bithynia, 
one by Nakoleia and Dorylaion, which is the shortest and was by 
far the most important at that time, the other by Kotiaion. 

* Lewin, St. Paid, p. 193, not observing that Phrygia is a 
part of Asia, supposes that they went at this time to Colossae and 
preached there. Such a route to Bithynia is impossible except 
with the wrong conception Mr. Lewin has of the topography of the 
country ; and Colossae was a city of Asia, and forbidden to them. 

IV. The Second J our7tey. 77 

and not in the popular sense which is certainly found in 
the early chapters of Acts. Our fundamental hypothesis 
of the " Travel-Document " is intended to meet this diffi- 
culty ; and we have found that hypothesis confirmed by 
the signs of first-hand acquaintance with the country which 
appear in chapters xiii. and xiv. The writer retains the 
precise words of his authority in xvi. 6 and 7, and this 
authority was a document written, whether by himself at an 
earlier time or by some other person, under the immediate 
influence of St. Paul himself.* 

Then the second difficulty, which lies in the relation 
of verse 6 to 4 and 5, finds an easy solution. " They 
passed through the Phrygian and Galatic country " 
is a geographical recapitulation of the journey which is 
implied in verses 4, 5. These two verses describe the 
conduct and action that characterised the entire journey 
through South Galatia, both the journey to Lystra and 
Derbe, already mentioned from the geographical point 
of view in verse i, and that to Iconium and Antioch. 
Verse 6 then continues the geographical description from 
verse i, and describes the journey from Lystra onwards ; f 
it led through " the country which is Phrygian and 

* It was at this point that the idea which is worked out in the 
first four chapters of this work was first conceived — viz., that great 
part of Acts xiii. ff. was composed under Paul's immediate influence. 

t I would accept without hesitation Wendt's view, that verses 
4 and 5 are an addition made to the original document by the 
author of Acts, who incorporated in his work the original docu- 
ment. The preceding exposition might have been made clearer by 
assuming this view ; but I have preferred throughout these chapters 
to start from the received text, though I feel confident that there 
has been a good deal of editing and contamination in the text as 
we have it. 

78 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

Galatic," a single district to which both adjectives apply. 
Lightfoot has correctly seen that this is the only possible 
sense of the Greek words as they are now read.* The 
description applies to the country round Iconium and 
Antioch ; to make quite clear in brief terms what country 
he meant, the writer of the original document said " the 
country which according to one way of speaking is 
Phrygian, but which is also called Galatic." The pre- 
ceding account of the country about Iconium and Antioch 
has shown how strictly true the description is, and how 
perfectly it agrees with the expression used in Acts xiv. 6, 
which puts the boundary of the Phrygian land between 
Iconium and Lystra. 

Lightfoot, on the other hand, considers that " the Phrygian 
and Galatic country " is Galatia in the narrow sense, the 
land occupied by the Gaulish settlers during the third 
century before Christ, which previously had been part of 
Phrygia. It seems to me inconceivable and contrary to the 
evidence, either that the name Phrygia should have re- 
mained in popular use to denote the country of the Asiatic 
Gauls till the time when Acts was written,! or that the 

* T))v ^pvyiau Koi TaXaTiKrjv x'^P^^^ SO Tischendorf, Westcott and 
Hort, Wendt, and almost all modern critics. But Wendt, though 
he accepts the text, gives a translation which results naturally from 
the old text, but which cannot be got from the text which he approves 
of. His rendering is /'/2r)'^7'(?;z tiiid das galatische Land. Lipsius, 
in Holtzmann's Hand-Konimentar, II. ii. 2, is the only modern 
critic known to me who quotes the text as t^v VakaTiK.r]v ; this is 
probably only an inaccuracy in quotation, and does not indicate a 
difference of judgment as to the text, which is determined by the 

t Lipsius regularly speaks of North Galatia as der Galaticus. 
This name has no authority, and is a mere fiction founded on his 
misunderstanding of ri)i/ TaXariKrjv x<!^pnv ; but it might suggest to the 

IV. The Second Journey. 79 

author should indulge in a display of pedantic antiquarianism, 
suitable for Strabo's learned work, but utterly incongruous 
here. To make possible the reference to North Galatia 
which Lightfoot and most commentators seek to derive 
from this passage, it is necessary to go back to the discarded 
reading Ty]v ^pvyiav kol rr/z^ TciXaTi/c7]v ')(^copav, and it is note- 
worthy that, as we have seen, Wendt translates this text in 
his commentary, though he rejects it in his critical notes. 

The objection may be made that I am inconsistent in 
refusing to admit the possibility that North Galatia could 
retain in popular language in the first century after Christ 
the ancient name of Phrygia, whereas I have argued * that 
Iconium continued to be counted Phrygian by its in- 
habitants at least as late as the second century. But the 
cases are quite different. In Iconium the old Phrygian 
population continued to call themselves Phrygian, and 
probably in part retained the use of the Phrygian language 
alongside of Greek. But in Galatia the population had 
changed ; the Galatai had conquered the country, and so 
far from wishing to retain the name Phrygian, they would 
have treated it as an insult to be called Phrygians. General 
popular usage throughout Asia Minor had long ago ceased 
to apply the name Phrygia to Galatia, though antiquaries 
and historians recognised that North Galatia was originally 
part of Phrygia. 

There can, I believe, be no doubt what country was 
denoted by these words, which may in English be most 

unwary reader that his translation agrees with ancient usage. 
Paul heard the term Galaticus in Iconium, where it denoted the 
enlarged province (p. 14, no. 4) ; but it was not used to denote 
North Galatia at that time (see p. 81). 
* See above, pp. 37-9. 

8o SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

idiomatically rendered " the Phrygo-Galatic territory." 
Abundant analogy may be quoted to show that this phrase 
was natural and proper in the first century, and that it 
was the most clear and complete and precise description 
which a writer who was striving after accuracy could select. 
As this point is a decisive one, and is independent of any 
theory as to the composition of Acts,* it deserves closer 

The district is not called Galatia, but rj TakaTiKr) %ajpa, 
i.e.y a district which was connected with Galatia or included 
in Galatia, but which the writer for some reason or other 
does not choose to designate by the term Galatia. The 
adjective Galaticus is actually employed elsewhere as a geo- 
graphical term. The term Pontus Galaticus f was already 
in use during the first century after Christ to denote a large 
district of Pontus which was added to the province of 
Galatia a few years B.C. The natural sense of the Greek 
words, confirmed by this analogy, is decisive as to the 
sense of rdXariKr] %cJ/5a. Now let us turn to the Roman 
documents of the first century, describing the extent 
of the authority exercised by the governor of Galatia. 
In some inscriptions he is called simply the governor of 
Galatia, while in others he is styled governor of Galatia, 
Pisidia, Phrygia, Lycaonia, Isauria, Pontus Galaticus, etc. 

* It is the argument which first led me definitely to abandon my 
earlier belief that the Epistle was addressed to the North Galatians. 
Local usage distinguished " Galatic district" from North Galatia. 

t The origin of the term is discussed in Hz's^. Geogr., p. 253. 
In literature it is used only by Ptolemy, but must be older, for it 
had ceased to be true in his time. It is emplo)'ed in inscriptions 
of the first century, e.g. C.I.L., III., Suppl., no. 6818, which belongs 
to the years 73-78. 

IV. The Second Journey, 8i 

The district here denominated Phrygia is that which in- 
cludes Iconium, Antioch, and Apollonia * and which might, 
during the first century, in perfect accordance with 
analogy, be called by such names as Phrygia Galatica, 
or 7] ^pvyLa koL TaXariKri x^P^- This statement of actual 
facts, as recorded in contemporary documents, seems to 
be in itself conclusive. T/ie term Galatic excludes Galatia 
in the narrow sense ; and xvi. 6, ivJien taken according to 
contemporary usage,] asserts that Paul did not traverse 
North Galatia. But as the theory that the route passed 
through North Galatia is rested on the supposed necessity 
of accommodating Acts to the Epistle, we must examine 
this point. 

Let us admit for the moment the possibility that, either 
by recurring to the now discarded reading in xvi. 6, or by 
some other means, a passage through North Galatia could 
be made consistent with the narrative in Acts. The 
question has then to be met, how did St. Paul come to 
be in North Galatia ? What theory can be suggested to 
explain his route and his plans consistently with the rest 
of the narrative ? Lightfoot and most others do not suggest 
any reason, nor do anything to introduce coherence into the 
journey. C. H. say : " The obvious inference is that he was 
passing through Galatia to some other district (possibly 
Pontus)." The inference, whether " obvious " or not, is 
rather a bold one, when we consider how utterly unjustified 
it IS by anything that is related in this or any other part of 

* See pp. 25, T^"]. Apollonia was in Phrygia (Strabo, p. 576). 

t Arrian, Anab., 2, 4, i, means by Galaticus " the country which 
afterwards was called Galatia, but was not so then." The North- 
Galatian theory loses the delicate local accuracy of Acts. 


82 5"/. Paul 171 Asia Minor, 

the Acts about Paul's travels or his aims. The idea of a 
proposed visit to Pontus must be rejected. But another 
account might be suggested as in better agreement with the 
record. We may suppose that Paul, after leaving Lystra, 
went on through Iconium to Antioch. There he was for- 
bidden to preach in Asia. He then went across the continent 
toward the north with the intention of preaching in the 
extreme eastern parts of Bithynia, Amastris and the sur- 
rounding districts. The direct road to Amastris went by way 
of Ancyra, the capital of North Galatia. Here or at some 
other point in his journey he was detained by illness. He 
postponed his journey to Bithynia, and proceeded to preach 
in Galatia. Lightfoot names Ancyra, Juliopolis,* Tavium, 
and Pessinus as probably the earliest Galatian churches 
in this district.f Thereafter he proceeded on his way to 
Bithynia, and when he came "over against Mysia" (or, 
according to Wendt, " to the frontier of Mysia "), he was 
forbidden to enter Bithynia, and passing along the southern 
boundary of Mysia he reached Troas. 

In the first place we have to object to this account that 
it does not suit the text. From North Galatia no possible 
route to Bithynia could be said to bring a traveller to a 
point " over against Mysia," still less " to the frontier of 

* Juliopolis, however, was at this time a city of Bithynia, not of 
Galatia {Hist. Geogr., p. 196). 

tWe may confidently say that no other towns (except Colonia 
Germa) in North Galatia possessed a Greek-speaking population to 
which St. Paul could preach ; in fact, it is exceedingly doubtful if 
Tavium could have contained many people who were familiar with 
Greek at this period. In the rest of the country it seems certain 
that only a few words of broken Greek were known to the population, 
whose familiar tongue was Celtic. According to Jerome they 
retained their native language as late as the fourth century. 

IV. The Second Journey. ^^ 

Mysla." A glance at a map (preferably a large map) of 
the country will make this clear to all. Moreover the 
phrase " They went through Phrygia, etc., and when they 
came opposite Mysia," implies a single definite journey 
reaching a definite point and there suddenly checked. But 
on the above interpretation, we have to interpose between 
the two verbs a tale of months of wandering over Galatia. 
No person who possessed any literary faculty could write 
like this. Either the writer of Acts misunderstood the 
facts entirely, and wrote something which is not correct, 
and which we must alter in order to introduce the above 
interpretation ; or else his words definitely exclude the 
supposition that Paul on this occasion travelled in North 
Galatia. If we cling to the North-Galatian theory, we 
must abandon the view that this part of Acts possesses the 
characteristics of an original, genuine, and valuable historical 
document. But if we adopt the South-Galatian theory, we 
merely follow the text of all modern critics and translate it 
according to the meaning which was common in documents 
of the time. 

Secondly, Amastris, in Roman and in common usage, was 
a city of Pontus, and not of Bithynia. Though it is true 
that both districts were included in one province, yet the 
province was always called Bithynia-Pontus or Bithynia et 

The supposition that Amastris was the object of St. 
Paul's route from Pisidian Antioch is inconsistent with 
natural probability ; Western Bithynia about Nikomedeia 
and Nikaia was the district which would be naturally inferred 
from the expression " to go into Bithynia." The wealth and 
the civilisation and the administration of Bithynia had their 
centre there. A connection with Syria and a Jewish popu- 

84 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

lation are more probable in Western Bithynia.* Amastrls 
itself was a civilised city with a considerable Greek-speaking 
population, but the surrounding country was barbarous 
and uncivilised and in the last degree unlikely to have 
attracted Paul. Moreover a very difficult and mountainous 
country lies south of Amastris, and intercourse between it 
and the civilised world was maintained almost entirely by 

When the design of preaching in Asia was frustrated, it 
seems to have occurred to St. Paul to go on to the country 
immediately beyond — viz., Bithynia ; and the road by 
Dorylaion to Nikaia and Nikomedeia was a great route. 
But the design of going from Antioch or from Iconium to 
Amastris, without any thought of preaching in the inter- 
mediate districts, is in itself utterly improbable, and puts 
an end to all naturalness and consistency in the narrative. 

Thirdly, chronology is opposed to this view. The 
process of preaching in the great cities of Galatia needed 
in any case a considerable time ; an invalid, as St. Paul 
is supposed on the North-Galatian theory to have been, 
would require a long time in that vast and bare country. 
But the period allotted on any of the proposed systems 
of chronology to this journey, leaves no room for such a 
great work as the evangelisation of Galatia. We may 
safely assume that Paul left Antioch on his second 
journey in the spring. No one who knows the Taurus f 
will suppose that he crossed it before the middle of May ; 

* Amisos was the only city of Pontus which might naturally have 
close relations with Syria (see p. 10) ; but it is unnecessary to argue 
that Paul could not think of Amisos as in Bithynia. 

t See above, pp. 69-70. 

IV. The Second J oitrney. 85 

June is a more probable time. Say he passed the Cilician 
Gates on the first of June. If we calculate his journey 
by the shortest route, allowing no detention for unforeseen 
contingencies,* but making him rest always on Sabbaths, 
and supposing a stay of two Sundays each at Derbe, 
Iconium, and Antioch, and of at least five weeks at 
Lystra (which is required to select Timothy as comrade, 
to perform the operation on him, and to wait his re- 
covery), we find that, even if he did not touch North 
Galatia, October would be begun before he reached 
Philippi.f Eleven months may fairly be allotted to the 
events recorded at Philippi, Thcssalonica,:}: Beroea, and 
Athens ; and then Paul went to Corinth, where he resided 
a year and a half. He would then sail for Jerusalem in 
the spring. Thus, three entire years are required as the 
smallest allowance for this journey, even if it was done 
in the direct way which our theory supposes. Among 
the commentators, some assign two years for these 

* But such contingencies always happen and cause some delay. 

t For mere walking-, we may allow eight days to Derbe, two 
to Lystra, one to Iconium, four to Antioch, seventeen to Troas ; 
besides a stay of some days in Troas. The shipping season had 
not come to an end, so that winter was not yet set in when he 
reached Troas. 

X The three weeks at Thessalonica (Acts xvii. 2) must not be 
pressed : the time is insufficient ; but I need not repeat the reasons 
which are well stated in the Speaker'' s Commentary on Thessa- 
lonians, p. 711. But the argument there used that Paul could only 
have had the Sundays for preaching in Thessalonica, because he 
worked with his hands "night and day" (i Thess. ii. 9), depends 
on a misconception. Paul means by the phrase " night and day " 
only that he started work before dawn : the usage is regular and 
frequent. He no doubt began so early in order to be able to devote 
some part of the day to preaching. 

86 5/. Paul in Asia Minor. 

events, some three, hardly any one allows four. The 
usual systems of chronology must therefore be modified 
greatly, if the evangelisation of North Galatia is to be 
interpolated in this journey. 

Finally, it is required by the North-Galatian theory that 
St. Paul, stricken at Ancyra by the severe illness already 
described in the words of Lightfoot, took that opportunity 
to make the long, fatiguing journeys needed in order to 
preach in Tavium and Pessinus. Those who know the 
bare, bleak uplands of Galatia, hot and dusty in summer, 
covered with snow in winter, will appreciate the improba- 
bility and the want of truth to nature which are involved 
in the words, " because of an infirmity of the flesh I 
preached unto you." 

The truth is that no suggestion ever has been offered, 
and in view of the geography no suggestion can be offered, 
which will introduce rational coherence into the narrative 
in Acts on the supposition that on this journey St. Paul 
evangelised in Northern Galatia. If that be the case, the 
narrative in Acts is so confused, so self-contradictory, and 
so unintelligible, that it cannot be written by one who had 
access to good authorities or who had any opportunity of 
acquiring knowledge of the facts. The most charitable 
account of the writer would be that he had no exact 
record about the first journey made by Paul into Galatia ; 
but he inferred from the Epistle that two such journeys 
had been made, and mentioned the first in a rather 
incoherent way at this point in his narrative. In some 
way or other all particulars of the first Galatian journey 
had disappeared, and the author of Acts had to dismiss 
it with a word. How inconsistent is this supposition 
with the life-like narration in other parts of St. Paul's 

IV. T/ie Second Journey, '^'] 

journeys ! How should the same writer be so well 
informed about the other journeys in Asia Minor, Greece, 
and Italy, while this one was as unknown to him as the 
Arabian journey ? * 

On the South Galatian theory, however, I hope that the 
preceding discussion has shown in detail the perfect 
coherence of the narrative throughout the first and second 
journeys, and its agreement with the allusions in the epistle, 
and has proved that the combination of Acts and the 
epistle produces a complete, natural, harmonious, and 
intrinsically probable picture. 

In Codex Bezce the various readings in the description 
of the second journey, though not of very striking cha- 
racter, are not devoid of interest. The addition to 
XV. 41 t is derived from xvi. 4 ; it brings out clearly (what 
is certainly implied in the received text) that the delivery 
of the decrees to the churches, which is described in xvi. 4, 
and the confirmation of the churches in xv. 41, are both 
intended to apply to all the churches visited. The clause 
inserted at the beginning of xvi.| makes the geographical 
description clearer and more precise, but does not make any 
material addition to the sense. It is, however, important 
in its bearing on a later verse, xvi. 6, to the opening 
words of which it is obviously parallel. It sums up the 
description of the visit to Syria and Cilicia given in 
the preceding verse. Several other additions belong to 

* Most writers who hold the North-Galatian theory speak in very 
strong terms of the incompleteness of the narrative in Acts. Much 
of the justification for their criticism disappears when the narrative 
is properly interpreted. 

t Tvapahihovs ras eWoXa? rav npecr^VTepcov, 

X di(\6b)v de TO. eduT] Tavra. 

88 St Paul in Asia Minor. 

classes of variants described by Professor Rendel Harris,* 
and need not be enumerated. 

The substitution of r^^evoixevoi for e\66vTe^ in xvi. 7 is 
more significant than any other of the variants in this 
passage. The verb used brings out even more clearly 
the continuity of the action described in ver. 7 with that 
described in ver. 6, and the impossibility of supposing that 
a long residence and evangelisation in North Galatia is 
to be interposed between the verb htrfkOov and the verb 
inreipa^ov {rj6eXav in Codex Bezce). No one can read 
the sentence contained in verses 6 and 7 without being 
struck with the obvious ignorance of the reviser that any 
process of evangelisation in a new land, hitherto untrodden 
by the Apostle and unmentioned in the previous chapters, 
is described in the opening clause of ver. 6. His addition 
to xvi. I brings out into marked prominence his conception 
that the clause in xvi. 6, " they passed through the Phrygo- 
Galatic country," is a mere geographical recapitulation 
of the more general description in verses 4 and 5. In 
xvi. I the clause 8te\^a)i^, etc., sums up the description 
introduced by Bujpxero, and in xvi. 6 the clause hirfKOov, 
etc , sums up the description introduced by ZiepxpiJ^dvot. 
We have here a complete proof that the reviser whose 
work has been preserved to us in Codex Bezce] under- 
stood the passage as we have interpreted it. If the other 
points about this revision which we attempt in these 
chapters to establish are satisfactorily proved, the con- 

* A Study of Codex Bezcc, p. 222. 

t The question whether the text of Codex Bezce is due entirely 
to this reviser or is complicated by other influences lies apart from 
our subject. My remarks about it are confined, like my knowledge, 
to Acts xiii. — xxi. 

IV. The Second Journey, 89 

elusion must be accepted that in the first half of the 
second century, by a skilful, well-informed, careful, and 
clear-headed reviser, who was familiar with the topography 
and circumstances of Asia Minor, the passage in Acts 
xvi. 1-6 was interpreted precisely in the same way that 
we have interpreted the received text* 

It is advisable to notice an argument derived from the 
syntax of xvi. 6. It has been contended that the participle 
KcoXvOevre^ gives the reason for the finite verb hirfkOov, 
and is therefore preliminary to it in the sequence of time. 
We reply that the participial construction cannot, in this 
author, be pressed in that way. He is often loose in the 
framing of his sentences, and in the long sentence in 
verses 6 and 7 he varies the succession of verbs by making 
some of them participles. The sequence of the verbs is 
also the sequence of time : (i) they went through the 
Phrygo-Galatic land ; (2) they were forbidden to speak 
in Asia ; (3) they came over against Mysia ; (4) they 
assayed to go into Bithynia ; (5) the Spirit suffered them 
not ; (6) they passed through Mysia ; (7) they came to 

* The account of the journeys which is here given was printed 
before I had looked into Codex Bezce. Working at the Thekla- 
legend for a later chapter of this work, I was struck with the fact 
that the legend presupposes the reading of Codex Bezce in xxi. i ; 
and a letter from Professor Rendel Harris, in answer to an inquiry 
on this point, turned my attention to the wider question. The 
character of Codex Bezce is so plainly marked in these chapters 
that a few hours' work at it convinced me of its origin and date. 
The character of this Codex is discussed more fully in Chapter 

VIII., §§ 3-5. 



IN St. Paul's third journey it seems clear that his original 
object was the province of Asia, and the visit to the 
churches of the Galatian country was a mere episode by 
the way. The aim which he had when he started on the 
second journey, and which he was forbidden by the Spirit 
when he reached Antioch to carry into effect, was realised 
in his third journey. The terms in which the country 
traversed by him before reaching Asia is described are 
unfortunately very obscure ; he " went through the Galatic 
region and Phrygia in order stablishing all the disciples " 
(jBi6p')(^6/jb€Vo^ Ka6e^fj<; rrjv FaXarLKrjv ')(^copav koX ^pvyiav, 
xviii. 23).* This statement gives no direct geographical 
evidence to decide between the South and the North- 
Galatian theories ; for on both Paul would traverse Galatian 
ground first and then Phrygia. But from another point 
of view the passage strongly confirms the theory which 
we have adopted.f 

* ^pvylav must be here taken as a noun, for, if it were an adjective, 
the variation in order between the phrases used in xvi. 6, and xviii. 2;^, 
to indicate the same territory would be unexplained and inexpHcable ; 
whereas the variation in form, if ^pvytaj/ is a noun, is correct and 
excellent (p. 93). 

t I pass over the fact (which has been already sufficiently explained 
on p. 81), that " Galatic region " necessarily has a different sense 


V. The Third Journey. 91 

St. Paul had come from Antioch of Syria through 
the Syrian and the Cilician Gates ; but the Hne of his 
route is not indicated until he reached a country which 
he had previously visited and where he had converts. 
He traversed this country, systematically visiting every 
place where there were disciples. He had a choice 
of two routes, one direct, passing through the churches 
which he visited on his first and second journeys, Derbe, 
Lystra, etc., and the other making an enormous circuit 
through Cappadocia and North Galatia, and omitting all 
the churches which are known to us by name. Can we, 
in the face of the word /ca^ef?)?, suppose that he left un- 
visited every church known to us,' and visited only others 
which are never elsewhere mentioned in this book,* and 
whose existence is only assumed in order to explain the 
Epistle to the Galatians ? Certainly the writer could not 
easily have described the journey in a way more calculated 

from "Galatia," and did in contemporary usage bear a recognised 
and distinct meaning. I add a modern example. If we to-day read 
the statement " The travellers then traversed the French region," we 
should confidently argue as follows : — This statement, clearly, does 
not describe a journey simply across France ; for in that case the 
writer, (f he spoke accurately and according to contemporary usage ^ 
would not have employed the term " French region " ; he must have 
had in mind a different idea, viz., some extended sphere of French 
possession — e.g.y French Africa (compare Galatic Pontus, Cappad- 
ocic Pontus). 

* On any interpretation of the words of Acts xvi. 6, the foundation 
of North-Galatian churches is not there actually alluded to ; St. Paul 
is merely said to have traversed the Galatian country, but no hint 
is given that he founded churches. But the churches mentioned 
in xviii, 2^^ are spoken of by the author as if they were already 
familiar to his readers. 

92 S^. Paid in Asia Minor. 

to mislead, if his meaning is that Paul chose the northern 
route through Cappadocia and North Galatia. 

Why should the narrator, who in other cases describes 
St. Paul's route with accuracy, leave it entirely doubtful 
whether he took the northern or the southern route ? The 
reason is that the northern route never occurred to him as 
a possibility. The route from Syria by the Cilician Gates 
to the ^gean coast was a familiar and much frequented 
one ; and unless another route was expressly mentioned, 
every one would understand that Paul passed through 
Lycaonia, and not through North Galatia. Moreover, on 
our theory, the reference to the disciples who were visited in 
their several places by the way is left in no doubt. After 
our explanation of the two previous journeys, the third is 
perfectly clear ; it is only on the North-Galatian theory 
that any doubt about it can exist. 

Further, the North-Galatian theory does not explain 
the words " all the disciples." If the journey passed 
through North Galatia, Paul could not visit the South- 
Galatian churches : why then should the writer be so 
careful to mention that he visited " all the disciples " ? * 
On the South-Galatian theory he would naturally visit 
them all, for no congregations existed except those which 
lay along his route. 

The account of the third journey is, therefore, not ex- 
pressed in language which, taken by itself, gives any 
conclusive argument as to the route followed ; but it gives 
a much clearer and more satisfactory picture, when inter- 
preted according to the Soutli-Galatian theory. 

* Moreover KaOe^yjs implies " in order from the first to the last, 
from east to west." 

V. The Third Journey. 93 

We must therefore interpret the phrase ttiv TcCKaTiKr)v 
X(jiypciv Koi ^pv^laVj as corresponding on the whole to the 
similar phrase rrjv ^pvycav koI Ta\aTiKr]v ')(oipav in xvi. 6. 
Why, then, did the author of the "Travel-Document" change 
his expression ? He did so because the phrase in xvi. 6 
would be incorrect in xviii. 23. The country denoted by 
the phrase in xvi. 6 is that which was traversed by Paul 
after leaving Lystra : it is therefore the territory about 
Iconium and Antioch, and is rightly called Phrygo-Galatic, 
" the part of Phrygia that was attached to Galatia." But 
the country which is meant in xviii. 23 includes Derbe, 
Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, and could not rightly be 
called " Phrygo-Galatic." If the writer wished to carry 
out this complicated phraseology, he would have had to 
say " Lycaono-Galatic and Phrygo-Galatic." He avoids 
the difficulty by using the simple phrase "the Galatic 
country," after traversing which Paul would reach Asian 

In this journey one difficulty still needs examination. 
St. Paul's object was Ephesus. The ordinary route for 
trade between Antioch and the west coast passed through 
Apameia and Colossas and Laodiceia. But it would appear 
from the Epistle to the Colossians (ii. i) that the Christians 
at Colossae and at Laodiceia had not seen his face. 

Apparently, the narrative here contradicts the Epistle. 
But, when we translate xix. i according to ancient usage, 
it is really a remarkable confirmation of the Epistle. On 
this journey Paul " stablished the disciples." This process 
would end at Pisidian Antioch ; for all to the west of 
Antioch was new ground. His further journey was rapid, 
for he did not preach anywhere till he reached his goal at 
Ephesus. But why did he not preach in the Lycus valley^ 

94 '^^' Pctiil in Asia Minor, 

whose churches at a later time occupied his attention ? 
The narrator has solved the difficulty for us by explain- 
ing that Paul chose a different path. Resuming the 
narrative in xix. i after a digression, he says, " Paul tra- 
versed the higher districts and came to Ephesus." The 
term " higher districts " is not the mere picturesque epithet 
of a geographer contrasting the plateau with the coast ; 
for in this brief and pregnant narrative every word has a 
bearing on the strict purpose. We must examine what 
sense the term bore in the first century usage. At that 
period a distinction was made between HigJi PJirygia and 
Low, The Sangarios was in Low Phrygia, and so was the 
salt lake Anava ; * and the term must denote those parts 
of Phrygia which were at a less elevation above sea level 
while High PInygia was the elevated mountain country 
that separates these two lower parts. Now the great trade 
route to Ephesus passed along the coast of Lake Anava, 
as it descends to Laodiceia ; it therefore passed through 
Low Phrygia, and the WTiter explains that Paul traversed 
the higher districts — i.e.^ he preferred the shorter hill road, 
practicable for foot passengers but not for wheeled traffic, 
by way of Seiblia (see the map at the end of the book). 

* Steph. Byz., s.v. Sangarios, Strabo, I., p. 49. I cannot here 
go into the usage fully ; nor is it explained in my Histoi'ical 
Geography. I wrongly understood Low Phrygia to denote Helle- 
spontine Phrygia, till Mr. Tozer in January 1893 directed me to the 
passage in Strabo, which he understands as I do. High Phrygia 
in Aristides (vol. i., p. 505, Dindorf) seems to denote Acmonia 
(see Revue Archeologiqiie, December 1888, p. 226 ; Reinach, Chron. 
d'Or, p. 504). The terms rarely occur, for few writers have occasion 
to distinguish the parts of Phrygia ; but they were evidently in local 
use, and their employment is a proof of local knowledge and first- 
hand information. 

V. The TJnrd Jottrney. 95 

The text of Codex Bezce in this passage is remark- 
able. It reads in xix. i, "And [when Paul was minded 
according to his own plan to go to Jerusalem, the 
Spirit bade him turn back into Asia ; and] having passed 
through the upper country he came unto Ephesus." 
The reviser understood that Paul, after having traversed 
the Phrygo-Galatic country and stablished all the dis- 
ciples, began to return with the intention of proceeding 
to Jerusalem ; but thereupon the Spirit ordered him to 
turn back and go into Asia. The reviser obviously 
considered, therefore, that Paul, when he began to return 
towards Jerusalem, had not entered Asia, but was about 
Antioch. He understood the situation in xviii, 23, there- 
fore, in the same way as we have just stated, and his 
alteration is made with exactness of thought and expres- 
sion, founded on good knowledge of localities. 

The readings described here and on pp. 87 ff. are pecu- 
liarly valuable ; for they give us a slight but yet sufficiently 
trustworthy indication of the date when the reviser did his 
work. Previous indications have shown that he worked 
later than the first century ; now we shall see that he 
worked before the middle of the second century. The 
reviser, as we saw in the preceding chapter, had no thought 
that Paul travelled in North Galatia, and understood 
ToLKaTiKT) %(y/3a in the sense which we have proved to be 
common and usual in the first and early second century. 
He therefore considered that this third journey also led 
through Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch ; and that 
Paul, after visiting and stablishing all his converts, was 
returning to Jerusalem, when he was ordered to go into 
Asia. We have also seen that the reviser adapted the 
topography of the document to the facts of his own time. 

g6 5/. Paul in Asia Minor, 

It is therefore clear that the cities visited by Paul were 
still considered by the reviser to be in the Galatic country . 
when he worked over the text. Now great part of 
Lycaonia was separated from Galatia in the reign of 
Antoninus Pius, between 138 and 161 A.D. ;* and we may 
feel confident that, if the reviser had worked after the 
change of system had become familiar and had produced 
a new nomenclature, he would have remodelled the text 
accordingly. The revision therefore took place before 
A.D. 161, and probably not later than A.D. 150. 

The reference to the bidding of the Spirit marks the 
addition at the beginning of xix. i as one of a class of 
insertions in this Codex, with which we are not directly con- 
cerned here.f But this passage goes beyond its class in 
asserting that Paul actually intended to act differently, and 
that his intention to go to Jerusalem was checked by the 
Spirit. It seems hardly possible to reconcile this positive 
statement with the respect for the book which the reviser 
certainly felt, except on the assumption that he was 
acquainted with an independent tradition on the point 
which he believed to be true, and considered himself 
justified by its truth in adding to the text | 

* See Hist. Geogr., pp. 253, 376. The probability is that the 
change took place in an early part of the reign {lb., p. 376, note), 
and A.D. 150 may fairly be taken as the latest date. 

t Rendel Harris, Study of Codex Bezce, p. 221. 

J I do not mean that tradition on such a point has the slightest 
historical value. Its only value is as an indication of the growth of 
a Pauline legend in the district (see p. 33f., 46, and on the rapid 
decay of truth in tradition 384). 




I. Arguments Founded on the Epistle. 

I HAVE intentionally refrained from mentioning any of 
the general arguments which have been advanced by 
previous advocates of the South-Galatian theory. They 
vary in value. Some have very little value, while others 
at least corroborate the theory. The real proof must depend 
on the interpretation of Acts, and the theory stands or falls 
thereby ; but a brief summary of these arguments, as they 
are given by Lipsius, may properly find a place here, and 
his counter-arguments may be noticed, where they seem to 
require it. 

1. St. Paul habitually uses district names in the Roman 
sense ; and Lycaonia was in Roman Galatia. This we 
have already discussed and put more accurately. 

2. St. Paul uses the Greek language to the Christians 
whom he addresses, and apparently calls them Greeks ; 
whereas the North -Galatians spoke Celtic. This argu- 
ment, put in this bare way, has no real value ; its proper 
character has already been discussed. (See p. 82 ;^, 69 n) 

3. He mentions (Gal. ii. 13) Barnabas as a person known 
to his readers ; Barnabas was not personally known to the 
North-Galatians. I can see no great value in this argu- 
ment. Barnabas is alluded to, and his views on the 
question of evangelising the Gentiles are assumed to be 

97 y 

9 8 5/. Paid in Asia Minor, 

familiar to the readers ; but the same assumption is made 
about Peter and some of the other apostles. It is, however, 
true that Barnabas was not such a prominent figure, and 
acquaintance with his views is more remarkable than know- 
ledge of what Peter thought. 

4. Paul's companions, when he was returning from Corinth 
to Jerusalem, seem to represent the different churches, and 
bear their contributions. Among them are Gaius of Derbe 
and Timothy of Lystra, but none from North Galatia. 
This argument has very little value ; Timothy at least 
might be with Paul as his travelling companion, and several 
other churches have no representatives. 

5. There is no record in Acts of the foundation of 
churches in North Galatia. This depends entirely on the 
interpretation of the narrative in Acts xvi. and xviii. 

6. The presence of Jewish emissaries, which is pre- 
supposed in the epistle, is natural in South Galatia and 
improbable in North Galatia. This is an important piece 
of corroborative evidence, and requires more careful 
attention, as it is connected with a general law observable 
in the development of the country. 

The change in the feeling of the Galatians was due to 
the action of a definite individual, a person of some con- 
sequence and standing, who had beguiled them into an 
exaggerated devotion to the Jewish law and practices.* St 
Paul knows him, but does not name him in writing to the 
Galatians. This visit of several strangers (the great man 
and his companions), taken in connection with St. Paul's 
two passages across the Galatian territory, makes it pro- 

* See Gal, v. 7 and 10, with the notes of Lipsius. I accept his 
interpretation in preference to other views. 

VI, The Epistle to the Galatians, 99 

bable that a frequented and common route from Syria 
led through it* It is hardly probable that they went 
forth for the express purpose of counteracting Paul ; 
rather they would be travelling with the general intention 
of preaching in the most populous and frequented dis- 
tricts of Asia, along a familiar and important road. This 
consideration suits the South-Galatian, but not the North- 
Galatian territory. Elsewhere I have shown at length f 
that the development and the importance of the territory 
on the northern side of the plateau — i.e.^ Northern Galatia 
and Northern Phrygia — belong to the period following 
after 292, and result from the transference of the centre 
of government first to Nicomedeia and afterwards to 
Constantinople. Under the earlier Roman Empire, the 
southern side of the plateau was far more important 
than the northern side. It would be easy, but is here 
unnecessary and unsuitable, t:> strengthen this proof by 
quoting many facts which confirm the view that North 
Galatia as a whole was slow in adopting the Graeco-Roman 
civilisation,! that it was not as a country so familiar to 
strangers from Syria as South Galatia, that except in 
Ancyra and Pessinus and Germa § there was probably no 

* Lipsius replies by quoting proof that Ancyra and Tavium (the 
latter he identifies with Gordium, which was 100 miles distant) were 
on an important trade route, but he does not prove (and could not 
prove) that they were on a route of Syrian trade. His remarks about 
the situation of Iconium, etc., show such erroneous views of the 
country and its antiquities that I need not mention them. (See Hand 
Ko?nmentar, II. 2, p. 3.) 

t Hist. Geogr., chaps. G, H, J, K. 

X See one fact mentioned on pp. 146-7. 

§ Germa was a colony, though not one of much importance. It 
struck coins. See p. 82. 

lOO 5/. Paul in Asia Alinor, 

Greek-speaking population in North Galatia to which St. 
Paul could address himself, and no Jewish congregations 
with which he could make a beginning. 

Why then did the Roman governor reside at Ancyra, 
and not in Southern Galatia ? Ancyra was the capital of 
the provmce, because it was a city of great importance 
and wealth (beyond Iconium or Antioch), commanding 
a fertile country ; and because the problems of Roman 
policy in the north of Asia Minor were very serious, and 
required an official of high rank there. The absorption of 
the neighbouring countries into the Empire was going on 
in that quarter with great rapidity during the first century, 
and each new addition to the Empire was incorporated in 
the province Galatia. 

7. St. Paul had been twice in Galatia before he wrote 
the epistle ; if North Galatia is the country in question, he 
had visited Jerusalem at least three times before he wrote, 
whereas in the epistle he speaks only of two visits to 
Jerusalem. This is an important subject ; but it is so 
difficult, and opens up so many disputed points, that it 
has no value as a piece of corroborative evidence. It is, 
of course, in any case difficult to reconcile the two visits 
of the epistle with the account given in the earlier part of 
Acts, which seems to necessitate the recognition of more 
visits ; and the difficulty is greatly increased if the epistle 
is placed after the third journey, when an additional visit 
to Jerusalem has to be reclconed with. On the South- 
Galatian theory, the epistle might have been written soon 
after the second journey ended. It would thus be one 
of the earliest of the extant epistles ; and the oldest 
authority on the subject, Marcion, about a century later, 
placed it actually first in his edition of the epistles. This 

VI. The Epistle to the Galatians. loi 

fact is far from conclusive, for it is not proved that Marcion 
arranged bis collection according to what he believed to 
be chronological order ; but his order may perhaps have 
a certain value * in regard to the opening epistle. 

There is, however, no doubt that the Epistle to the 
Galatians has far closer analogies with i and 2 Corinthians 
and Romans (which were composed on the third journey), 
than with i and 2 Thessalonians (which were written during 
the second journey). But liGalatians was written between the 
second and the third journey, and Thessalonians early in the 
stay at Corinth, there w^ould be a considerable interval between 
them. Moreover, St. Paul's circumstances in the interval ex- 
plain how his views reached a new stage which lasted through 
the third journey and even until he had resided some time in 
Rome. The trial before Gallio,,when the Roman Government 
granted him the liberty which the Jews denied him, was per- 
haps the crowning event, slight indeed in itself, that inaugu- 
rated the new stage. Lightfoot's account of the development 
of Paul's thought (^Philipp.^ P- 4i ff) is for me conclusive, yet 
quite consistent, I think, with the dates, Galatians 55, Corin- 
thians and Romans 56, 57, Philippians62. (See pp. 109, 167.) 

8. The dispute which took place during St. Paul's visit 
to Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 5) concerned those whom Paul 
addresses (u/ia?) ; but the visit took place before the 
second journey, and he is not supposed by any one to 
have visited North Galatia on his first journey. This is 
a good point, though slight. 

9. Another argument is mentioned by Lightfoot as 
strong but not convincing. At Lystra St. Paul was 
taken for an impersonation of the Divine power, and 

Wiescler arguco that his order was in a rough way chronological. 

I02 S/. Paul in Asia Minor, 

similarly the Galatians of the epistle received him as 
an angel of God (iv. 14) ; and tliis idea dwells in the 
writer's mind, and suggests his expression in i. 8, "though 
we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto 
you any gospel." The extraordinary effect produced by 
Paul in Antioch, etc., is shown in Acts xiii., xiv. ; we 
cannot say that anything quite similar to it is related 
of any other part of his missionary work. Precisely such 
extraordinary effect is implied in the epistle ; and the 
coincidence between the two documents is acknowledged 
by Lightfoot to be striking. 

10. It is implied that the opponents of St. Paul quoted 
his own action and misrepresented him as preaching cir- 
cumcision (v. 11).* The reference to his action in the case 
of Timothy is here unmistakable, and is fully admitted 
by Lightfoot in his commentary on the verse. Such an 
argument would appeal with peculiarly strong effect to 
the South-Galatian churches after what is related in 
Acts xvi. 3. 

2. St. Paul's Feelings Towards the Galatian 


The churches of Antioch, etc., were the firstfruits of 
St. Paul's wider activity, and the narrative in Acts shows 
that his experiences among them on his first journey were 
most encouraging for the initiator of a new departure in 
the guidance of missionary effort. Moreover, they gave him 
his most faithful and devoted companion throughout his 
subsequent life, Timothy. We should certainly suppose 

* Die emgedruitge7ie?i Sendlifige . . . vorwer/en dem Faulus, 
er predige fa selbst die Beschneidung. 

VI, The Epistle to the Galatians, 103 

from his general character, and from the personal affection 
which he often shows for his converts, that he would retain 
a warm interest in his earliest Gentile churches. The 
Philippians, the first of his European hearers, were regarded 
by himself with special love. He refers to his earliest 
converts in Greece and in Asia as the firstfruits of Achaia 
and of Asia. Surely we should find in his epistles some 
proof of interest in Antioch, Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra. 

The narrative in Acts proves that he did retain such 
an interest in this South-Galatian group of churches, for 
he visited Derbe at least twice, Lystra and Iconium and 
Antioch at least three times ; while, on our theory, he 
visited them all once more on his third missionary 
journey. Yet, on the usual theory, we find throughout 
St: Paul's writings no single word to show that he retained 
a kindly recollection of them or an interest in them. Once 
he does refer to them, but only to recall his sufferings and 
persecution among them (2 Tim. iii. 11) ; in no other way, 
at no other time, does he make any allusion to them. 
Even when he orders a contribution for the sufferers by 
the famine in Palestine (i Cor. xvi. i), he thinks of the 
Galatian churches, but not (according to the dominant 
theory) about the churches of Antioch, Iconium, Derbe, 
and Lystra. It would be impossible to conceive a more 
direct contradiction in tone and emotional feeling than 
exists, on this theory, between Acts and Galatians, as 
regards St. Paul's attitude to the South-Galatian churches. 
Such a contradiction is inexplicable, except on the sup- 
position that Acts belongs to a different period and to 
different surroundings from the Epistles ; the Epistles give 
the real tone and feeling that ruled in the actual circum- 
stances, Acts gives the later memory that survived among 

io4 ^V. Paul in Asia Minor, 

the Christians of the second century, and its composition 
would have to be dated in that period. I can see no escape 
from this conclusion, if we admit that the contradiction 
exists ; and in opposition to it my aim is to show that 
both accounts belong to the same period, and are instinct 
with the same emotion. 

Moreover, we might ask how a later age, to which the 
composition of Acts is relegated on this supposition, came 
to attach so much more importance to these churches than 
Paul himself did ? It is certain that the South-Galatian 
churches did not in later time play a very prominent part 
in Christian history ; they had for a short time, during 
St. Paul's own life, the interest naturally attaching to the 
first Gentile churches, and they never again held the same 
position. The account given in Acts is historically true 
to the period 48-64 A.D., and not to later time. 

Thus, on every ground, the inconsistency and self-contra- 
diction involved in the dominant North-Galatian theory 
become clear. The conclusion is plain. That theory is 
wrong ; and the interpretation which restores consistency 
to the documents, and reality to the history contained in 
them, must be accepted. 

As to the discrepancy which exists, on the North-Galatian 
theory, between the silence of Acts about the North- 
Galatian churches, and the importance which the epistle 
implies them to possess, it is no defence to quote the fact 
that St. Paul wrote to the Colossians, yet they are never 
mentioned in Acts. In the letter he expressly says that 
they had never seen him, and hence in Acts there was no 
opportunity of mentioning them ; but yet a clear and 
admitted allusion to Colossa: and Laodiceia occurs in 
xix. 10, "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word." 

VI . The Epistle to the Galatians. 105 

3. Arguments for the North-Galatian Theory. 

If we ask for positive arguments in favour of the North- 
Galatian theory, none are offered. All arguments in its 
favour take the form of pointing out difficulties in the other 
theory. There are undoubtedly difficulties in the other 
theory ; but the history of the Apostolic period is full of 
difficulties, in comparison to which those involved in the 
South-Galatian theory are trifles. The North-Galatian 
theory avoids the difficulties by creating an unknown set of 
churches, to which the epistle was addressed, as the Greek 
mythologists explained the contradictions in their fables by 
creating two or five or ten persons bearing the same name ; 
but in one case alone did we find that it solved a difficulty 
in which the South-Galatian theory was involved. Hence 
no positive argument can be brought forward in its favour, 
for the North-Galatian churches are an unknown factor ; 
and it cannot be either proved or disproved that the facts 
alluded to in the epistle suit them. One single argument 
which looks like a positive reason may detain our attention 
for a moment. 

The North Galatians were a Celtic race who had invaded 
Asia Minor in the third century B.C. It has been argued 
with much unariimity and strength of assertion that the 
character, conduct, and emotions of the Galatians to whom 
the epistle is addressed are those of a Celtic people. It is 
certainly a sound principle to compare the qualities implied 
in St. Paul's epistles with the national character of the 
persons addressed ; but national character is a very delicate 
subject to deal with, and the Celtic faults and qualities are 
certainly overstated by some of the commentators. The 
climax of imaginative insight into national character is 

io6 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

reached by some Germans, who consider the population of 
North Galatia to be not Celtic but Germanic, and discover 
in the Galatians of the epistle the qualities of their own 

Much might be said in the way of arguing that the action 
of the Galatians was due, not to the peculiarities of Celts, 
but to the nature of an Oriental people like the Phrygians 
and Lycaonians, who had a strong natural affinity for the 
Hebraic type of Christianity {y. p. 57 ;2.). But it will be 
readily granted that this line of argument has no force in 
the decision of the question ; the nationality of the persons 
addressed must be settled on other considerations, and then 
it will be time to search for indications of their national 
character in the traits and acts recorded of them. 

Wendt, in his last edition of " Meyer's Commentary," 
appears to take a sort of middle view, if I rightly understand 
him. He expressly admits that St. Paul uses the term 
Galatia, like all provincial names, in the Roman sense, and 
that it would be quite in accordance with his style to 
use the expression " churches of Galatia," indicating the 
churches of Antioch, Iconium, etc.* He quotes the refer- 
ence to Galatia, i Cor. xvi. i, as an example of St. Paul's 
custom of using such terms in the Roman sense.f He 
therefore considers that in i Cor. xvi. i " the churches of 
Galatia " includes the South Galatian churches. Yet he 
proceeds to deny that the Epistle to the Galatians could 
possibly be written to the South-Galatians, and asserts that 
it must be written to the North-Galatian churches alone. 
This view appears to imply utter confusion of thought in 

* Commentary on xvi. 6-10, footnote to pp. 353, 354. 
t Commentary on xiii. 9. 

VI. The Epistle to the Galatians. 107 

Paul, and to attribute to him a carelessness in the use of 
terms which no accurate writer could be guilty of. To 
justify this view Wendt adduces one single argument, which 
he considers decisive. It is as follows. In Gal i. 21 St. 
Paul says that he spent in Syria and Cilicia the interval 
of fourteen years between his first and second visits * to 
Jerusalem, and does not mention that he was in Galatia 
during that time. It was unnecessary for him to mention 
to North-Galatian Christians that he had been in South 
Galatia during the interval ; but it appears to Wendt 
" psychologically impossible " that Paul should not have 
mentioned the visit to South Galatia, if he had been writing 
to the South-Galatian Christians. 

It might be a sufficient answer that the reconciliation of 
the account given in the epistle of St. Paul's visits to 
Jerusalem with the narrative in Acts is the greatest histori- 
cal problem in his life ; and that no argument founded on 
that account has any great value until the whole problem 
is solved. But, further, I think that Wendt's argument does 
not take the simplest way of treating the difficulty which 
he has touched. The view which I shall suggest seems 
easier ; and for that reason I mention it, though I feel 
that it does not solve the difficulty fully. 

From Paul's intention f in this argument we may safely 
infer that either he mentioned to the Galatians all his 
visits to Jerusalem until the time when further visits cease 
to affect his argument, or his argument is bad. I accept 

* I leave open the question whether the interval is between the 
visits, or between the conversion and the second visit ; v. p. i68. 

t The two pages that follow were written in May 1893, in view of 
Spitta's theory {v. p. 166) and Weiss's criticism in IJieol. Stud. u. 
Krit., 1893, p. 519 ff. 

io8 67. Paul in Asia Minor. 

the first view unhesitatingly. Hence, since he in Galatians 
mentions only two visits, and it is stated in Acts that 
before his first missionary journey he paid two visits 
(ix. 26-30, and xi. 27-30), we must hold, either that these 
are the visits mentioned in Galatians, or that the author of 
Acts places one of these visits at a wrong date. Spitta 
takes the former alternative, Weiss the latter. I agree with 
Spitta. Now, if Gal. ii. i-io refers to a visit preceding the 
first missionary journey, the phrase in Gal. i. 21 is strictly 
accurate, and Wendt's argument falls to the ground.* 
Further, Paul's argument refers only to visits to Jerusalem 
and intercourse with the older Apostles before he founded 
the Galatian Churches. Visits after their foundation would 
not affect his authority as Apostle of the Galatians. He 
is only concerned to prove that when he converted the 
Galatians, he came to them direct from God, appointed 
by God, and not dependent on anything taught him by the 
older Apostles. It follows, therefore, that Paul founded 
the Galatian Churches after his second and before his third 
visit to Jerusalem. Now he visited Jerusalem, according 
to Acts, for the third time between his first and second 
Galatian journeys. We come, then, once more to the same 
conclusion — the Christians to whom Galatiajis was ad- 
dressed were converted during the first journey. 

Again, we see that no inference follows from Gal. i., ii. 
as to the number of visits that Paul had paid to Jerusalem 

* In any case, Wendt's argument comes only to this, that the 
phrase in Gal. i. 21 is inaccurate, but the inaccuracy would not 
strike North-Galatians, while it would strike South-Galatians ; and 
hence Paul must have been addressing North-Galatians. This 
a priori style of reasoning from assumed inaccuracies is precisely 
what I contend against throughout these chapters. 

VI. The Epistle to the Galatians. 109 

when he wrote, for visits paid after he had converted the 
Galatian churches did not enter into his argument. More- 
over, the account given in Acts of the visits is perfectly 
consistent with Galatians, and the attempts made by 
Spitta and Weiss to treat some of the visits recorded in 
Acts as misplaced by the mistake of a redactor must be 
pronounced unproved and improbable. Spitta identifies 
the visit of xv. 1-33 with that of xi. 27-30, assigning the 
former * to the document which he calls B, the latter to 
document A ; but Weiss appears to me to be right in argu- 
ing that XV. 5-1 1 and 13-33 are in thestyleofB, while xv. 1-4 
show the style of A. On the other hand, Weiss's theory that 
Acts ix. 26-30 is a misplaced account of the visit described 
(Gal. ii. I 10) seems to me wild and improbable. In truth, 
there is no need to identify different visits on account of 
slight analogies between them. The central controversy 
in the Church was the same for a number of years — viz., 
the relation of the converted heathen to the Christian 
Jews. Many meetings and discussions took place ; there 
was necessarily considerable similarity between them ; and 
some degree of similarity naturally characterises several of 
the brief and incomplete accounts that we possess. This 
controversy came to an end for the Church when Jerusalem 
was destroyed, and for Paul when his long captivity in 
Rome developed his thought into a new stage — viz., that of 
organisation for the conflict against the Empire.f Weiss's 

* Except 5-12, which he assigns to the Redactor, R, who con- 
structed Acts out of the two documents, A and B (see p. 166). 

t See Lightfoot, Phili^pians, p. 41. This developed stage appears 
in Colossians , E;phesians, and the Pastoral Epistles, whereas the 
earher group, Galatians, Corijithians , Romans, and even Philip- 
;pians, turn to a great extent on questions of "the conflict against 
Pharisaic Judaism." 

no SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

view that the references to Paul and Barnabas in Acts 
XV. 22, 25 are incorrect interpolations of the Redactor 
seems to me to be far from conclusively proved. I prefer 
not to tamper with the text. 

4. Analogy of First Peter. 

Another objection may be urged : why is it that these 
churches are called Galatian only in the epistle, and 
nowhere else? But they are elsewhere referred to as 
Galatian. The superscription of I. Peter to the elect 
who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, 
Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, beyond a doubt employs 
these terms in the Roman sense. It sums up the whole 
of Asia Minor north of the Taurus range. The fringe of 
coast-land south of Taurus is excluded ; but Cilicia goes 
with Syria, not with Asia Minor,* and Pamphylia and 
Lycia seem not to have had important Christian com- 
munities in early times. If, on the other hand, we take these 
terms in the popular sense in which they were employed 
by some writers, what an amorphous and haphazard 
enumeration it is ! Mysia, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, are 
omitted, some of the most important and many of the 
earliest Christian churches are excluded, and precisely the 
countries where evidence of the strength and numbers of 
the Jews is strongest are left out. 

Why then did this writer use the Roman nomen- 
clature? For much the same reason as Paul. He was 
writing from Rome, and he also had the mind of an 
organiser, and had caught a glimpse of the great con- 

* The governor of S3'ria had a certain miUtary charge over Cilicia, 
and Marquardt thinks he even governed it. In the system of the 
Christian Empire the Cilician churches were subject to Antioch. 

VI, The Epistle to the Galatians. 1 1 1 

ccption of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. 
He saw the immense importance of the churches of Asia 
Minor, he foresaw the situation in which they were about to 
be placed, and hence he writes to them as a body. 

Lightfoot fully admits this interpretation in the case of 
I. Peter ; but explains it as " not unnatural in one who was 
writing from a distance and perhaps had never visited the 
district." This seems to me to explain nothing : Paul also, 
according to Lightfoot, wrote from a distance — viz., from 
Macedonia. But why a person writing from a distance 
should prefer the Roman term, he has not explained. As 
we contemplate the facts, the reason lies in the writer's 
habit of thought. 

5. Change in the Meaning of the Name Galatia. 
Why, then, was an interpretation, which is so natural and 
so necessary, lost for so many centuries and recovered only 
in the beginning of the present century? It was lost 
because, during the second century, the term Galatia ceased 
to bear the sense which it had to a Roman in the first 
century. The whole of central and southern Lycaonia was, 
before the middle of the second century, separated from 
Galatia, and formed into a province Lycaonia, which was 
united with Isauria and Cilicia under the title of " the three 
Eparchies," and put under the command of a governor of 
the highest rank. From this time onwards the true sense 
of the term Galatia in St. Paul's time was lost ; and the 
misconception has lasted unchallenged till this century and 
dominant to the present day. Among French scholars 
alone * is the South-Galatian view generally accepted. 

* See, e.g., Renan, or Perrot in his treatise de Galatia Provincia 
Romana. In Germany Weizsacker rejects the dominant view. 


st. paul at ephesus, 

Explanatory Note. 

TPIE following chapter was originally written in reply- 
to a paper entitled " Demetrius the Silversmith 
an Ephesian Study," which was contributed by the Rev. 
Canon Hicks to the Expositor for June 1890, pp. 401-422. 
My reply was composed on the spur of the moment, 
immediately on reading the paper.* Still it appears better 
to republish it substantially as it was written, merely 
adding some new evidence. A paper which fully corre- 
sponded to the title " St. Paul at Ephesus," would be very 
long, and would have to repeat much that has been well 
said by others, and particularly by Bishop Lightfoot in the 
Contemporary Review^ May 1878. 

Mr Hicks' paper was suggested by an inscription found 
at Ephesus by Mr. Wood. It was published as a fragment 
by the latter ; but Mr. Hicks was able to render it nearly 
complete by the acute observation that a small scrap of 
marble with a few letters on it, which had not been noticed 
by Mr. Wood, fitted on to the larger piece which the latter 
had published. I regret to have found myself obliged to 
differ toto ccelo from the theory which Mr. Hicks based 
on the inscription. Considering how much we are agreed 
on in regard to Ephesus, and how much I have since 

It was published in the Expositor , July 1890. 


VII. St. Paul at EpJiesMS. 1 1 3 

learned from his scholarly publication of the Ephesian 
inscriptions (in the Ancient Greek Inscriptions of the British 
Museum, vol. iii.), it is almost unfortunate that we should 
present in this point (the only one that comes before the 
public) the appearance of disagreement. Before reprinting 
this paper, I wrote to Canon Hicks, asking whether he had 
any further evidence to confirm any points in his case. I 
hoped that we might settle some of our differences out of 
court. I understand from his kind and scholarly reply that 
his view is, like mine, that the arguments on the two sides 
should be fully and frankly stated, and that nothing but 
good will come of active discussion and criticism. 

I. Demetrius the Neopoios. 

The inscription of Ephesus that suggested Canon Hicks' 
paper and the following reply is translated * as follows : — 

** The Senate [and the People do public honour] to them 
that served as N[eopoioi, i.e.. Temple-wardens] during the 
prytany of , in the year of Demetrius : viz., 

" Of the Ephesine Tribe : Demetrius, son of Menophilos, 
the son of Tryphon, of the thousand Boreis : Thoas, son 
of Drakontomenes, of the thousand Oinopes. 

"Of the Augustan Tribe : Alexander, etc ; Pythion, etc. 

** Of the Teian Tribe : [Herm]as f ; Pythodorus. 

" Of the Karenaean Tribe : Eusebes : Tryphon. 

" Of the Tribe Euonymoi : Heraklitus ; Apellas. 

"Of the Bembinaean Tribe: [Pr]esbon ; [another name 

* I modify very slightly the words and arrangements of the translation given 
by H. To save space, and to avoid the personal reference as far as possible, 
I shall in the rest of the paper use the letter H. to denote Canon Hicks' paper. 
The inscription is now published as number DLXXVIII in his volume of 
Ephesian inscriptions. 

•j" I omit the description of this and the follovnng officials. 

X A second inscription, unconnected with this one, was engraved at a later 
time on another side of the same stone. 


114 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

The words or letters enclosed in square brackets are 
restored in places where the inscription is mutilated. It is 
to be observed that the crucial word is a restoration ; only 
the first letter of it remains. It must be admitted that the 
restoration given by H. is in the highest degree probable, 
but it cannot be pronounced certain. There were other 
officials whose name began with N. : e.g.^ NonioiJietcE, 
Noinophylakes. I attach, however, no importance to these 
possibilities ; the reasons excellently stated by H. show that 
his restoration approximates towards certainty. But, in the 
dearth of knowledge about the officials of the Asian cities, 
nothing can be pronounced certain about them, unless it is 
expressly guaranteed by exact evidence. It is as nearly 
certain as any inference on the subject can be that we do 
not know the names of all the various boards of magistrates 
at Ephesus. Hence, even though the inferences drawn by 
H. were more probable than they are, the doubt always 
remains whether the Neopoioi were really mentioned in the 
inscription. But in this chapter H.'s restoration is accepted, 
and the theory which he founds on it is tested on its own 

2. Acts XIX. 23-41. 

It is impossible for any one to invent a tale whose scene 
lies in a foreign land without betraying in slight details his 
ignorance of the scenery and circumstances amid which 
the event is described as taking place. Unless the writer 
studiously avoids details, and confines himself to names 

* The paper originally began with the following paragraph. 
Additions are here made to it, and some slight modifications are 
introduced. It seems unnecessary to indicate the changes, which 
merely make more emphatic the views originally stated. 

VI I. St. Paul at Ephesus, 1 1 5 

and generalities, he is certain to commit numerous errors. 
Even the most laborious and minute study of the circum- 
stances of the country in which he is to lay his scene, will 
not preserve him from such errors. He must live long 
and observe carefully in the country, if he wishes to invent 
a tale which will not betray his ignorance in numberless 
details. Allusions of French or German authors to English 
life supply the readiest illustration of this principle. Even 
after all the study that has been expended on classical 
writers, I will engage to prove it in detail from almost any 
commentary on a Greek or Roman author, where the 
commentator ventures beyond mere linguistic exposition 
of his text. 

Even to relate with propriety and accuracy in the 
details an incident that has occurred in a foreign land, is 
no easy task, unless the narrator has actually witnessed it 
and confines himself strictly to describing what he saw. 
In such a case the one chance of safety for a writer that 
has not seen the facts, lies in faithfully reproducing the 
narrative of an eyewitness. As soon as he ventures to 
write from an independent standpoint, and to modify the 
account of his authority, he is certain to import into his 
version some of those errors that betray the foreigner. 

I propose to examine, from this point of view, some details 
in the account given in Acts of the riot fomented in Ephesus 
against St. Paul by Demetrius the silversmith. The writer 
does not profess to be an eyewitness of the scene, but he 
had abundant opportunity of learning from eyewitnesses all 
the incidents which he relates in Acts xix. with a multitude 
of minute details and local touches. If the story was 
invented, only a person intimately familiar with Ephesus 
could avoid errors that would provoke a smile from any 

1 1 6 SL Paid ill Asia Minor, 

native. The most careful and accurate modern students of 
the antiquities of that country, even after close observation 
of the ruins, would be the first to profess their inability to 
attain local verisimilitude, if they had to invent such a tale. 
The nearest approach they could make to verisimilitude 
would be to collect in their narrative the details that they 
could actually trace from ancient remains and records, and 
studiously to avoid or slur over all others. But, while it 
would be impossible for any of us to attain verisimilitude 
in relating such a story, it is much easier for us to criticise 
such a story when told by another, and, by comparison with 
other sources of information, to detect discrepancies between 
the details that occur in it and facts that can be otherwise 
ascertained. Such criticism finds'plenty of scope in the tale 
of Paul and Demetrius. While, on the one hand, it must 
be confessed that our information has hitherto been too 
scanty to justify us in asserting the perfect verisimilitude 
of the story, yet it is equally certain that no error has 
yet been proved to exist, and that a number of accurate 
touches have been detected. 

The most serious difficulty hithero started has been the 
reference to the Asiarchs ; but this touches an exceedingly 
obscure and difficult subject, and no recent writer has 
ventured to maintain that the reference betrays ignorance. 
It certainly is difficult to harmonise the reference with 
other known facts ; but it is equally difficult to harmonise 
these facts with each other. For my own part, I accept 
the reference as entirely accurate and as a valuable piece 
of evidence. 

The chief purpose of my remarks is to show the diffi- 
culty in which even the highest authority on the anti- 
quities of P^phesus was involved, when he suggested that 

VII. St. Paid at Ephesus. 1 1 7 

the natural and straightforward interpretation of the 
narrative was incorrect, and ought to be rejected in favour 
of a rather artificial and far-fetched explanation. The 
theory which he elaborated only brings out more clearly 
the coherence and the direct simplicity of the narrative. 
There is only one way of interpreting it, and that is as 
embodying almost, if not absolutely, verbatim the words of 
an eyewitness. 

The recent edition of the inscriptions of Ephesus gives 
a vast amount of new information about the city, and adds 
greatly to our power of criticising the nineteenth chapter of 
Acts ; and it is noteworthy that the firstfruits of that 
great work should be the editor's own attempt to prove 
that there occurs in Acts xix. precisely such an error in 
detail as a writer ignorant of the country is sure to commit 
in inventing a tale about it This view is fatal to the whole 
theory which I have advanced as to the character and 
composition of the " Travel-Document." If the proof is 
conclusive, I should feel constrained to follow ; but the view 
at least requires rigorous examination, and I hope to show 
that it is not correct. H., indeed, infers only that the 
writer misunderstood the words of an eyewitness ; but this 
inference does not exhaust the consequences that follow 
from his theory. In opposition to it I shall try to prove, 
in the first place, that the view held on this detail by the 
author of Acts xix. is involved in the essence of the story, 
and must have been got by him from the account of the 
supposed eyewitness that he used as his authority ; and 
secondly, that it is no error, but a true and accurate idea, 
which adds to the general verisimilitude of the narrative. 

While I am unable to agree with the theory stated by 
H., I should like to acknowledge the high interest and 

1 1 8 S^. Paztl in Asia Minor. 

value of his paper in the Expositor. The importance of 
closely scrutinising the details of such a document is great, 
and the results, whether we actually agree with them or not, 
are sure to be highly suggestive. There are cases where 
a book or paper, whose actual results cannot be accepted, 
is far more valuable and suggestive than many statements 
of certain and indisputable facts are. H.'s paper is one of 
these cases ; its value in method is quite distinct from its 
value in results. 

3. Demetrius the NEoroios and Demetrius the 


I should be very ready to acknowledge that, with regard 
to the identification which he proposes between the Deme- 
trius of the inscription and the silversmith of Acts xix., H. 
has made out at least the probability of his case. It would 
be, of course, almost as difficult to prove an identity 
between two persons named John Smith in our own 
country as between two persons named Demetrius on the 
west coast of Asia Minor. But if he is right in dating 
his inscription about 50-60 A.D., then the case may 
be thus stated. Two independent documents mention a 
Demetrius in Ephesus about 50-60 A.D. In each case the 
Demetrius is a man of a certain standing in the city, 
influential and presumably wealthy. In the one case 
Demetrius is specified as a " silversmith," and as evidently 
a leader in the trade ; in the other case the Demetrius in 
question is designated in the ordinary way by his father's 
and grandfather's name, and by his " thousand." Such 
was the regular designation of a citizen — the addition of 
the father's name being almost universal, while the 
grandfather was less frequently mentioned, chiefly when 

VII. St. Paul at Ephesits, 119 

the citizen bore one of the commoner names. In addition 
to this, the official position of the second Demetrius, as 
member and chairman of a board of city magistrates,* is 
recorded. The variety of style in the references is quite 
natural, and the fact that nothing in the one case agrees 
with anything recorded in the other is due to the different 
character of the documents, and affords no presumption 
that the two persons are different. The identity of the 
two is therefore quite possible ; and a natural inclination 
leads us to hope that it may even be called probable. 

The whole of the following remarks are written on the 
assumption that H. is right in dating the inscription about 
Demetrius in the reign of Nero.f But I cannot agree 
with a statement which he made in his reply, that " the 
identification of the Demetrius of the inscription with the 


silversmith of Acts xix. stands or falls with the date to be 
assigned to the inscription." The identification certainly 
falls if H.'s date is wrong ; but it docs not necessarily 
stand if his date is right. It merely begins in that case to 
be a possibility. There were certainly many Ephesians 
under Nero who were called Demetrius ; and it would be 
an arbitrary assumption that the two references to Deme- 
trius indicate the same person, without assigning some 
other reasons for the identification. But I have gone 
so far as to admit H.'s identification as probable. It is 

* The neopowz wexQ civil magistrates, not religious officials. H. 
correctly apprehends this. They were, as he says, elected by the 
people annually. 

t But on the date of the inscription see the note at the end of 
this chapter. I have here cut out a paragraph, and have elsewhere 
done the same where any passage does not contribute much to the 
efifect. No change in my opinions is indicated thereby. 

I20 S/. Paid in Asia Minoi\ 

interesting, and I hope it is true. I say not a word against 
it. The one reason why the paper is written Hes in the 
theory which H. has founded on it, and which may be false, 
even though the identification be true. 

4. Action of the Priests of Artemis. 

H.'s next point is, that the inscription belongs to the 
very year in w^hich occurred the famous scene in the theatre, 
and that " the honour therein voted to him and his col- 
leagues was in recognition of the services rendered by him 
and them on behalf of the national goddess " — i.e.^ as H. pro- 
ceeds to show, in recognition of the demonstration against the 
Apostle which Demetrius (and his colleagues, as H. would 
add, expanding the narrative in Acts) organised in the 
Great Theatre. 

If this be so, we must gain much new light on the events 
related in Acts xix. According to H.'s interpretation, 
an entirely new aspect is put on the whole scene, and an 
aspect which is absolutely at variance with the character 
ascribed to it in Acts xix. It is represented to us in Acts 
as a spontaneous demonstration by a trade against the 
new influence that threatened to undermine its prosperity. 
H. makes it out as due to the action of the priests,* 
whose " jealousy only waited for an opportunity of attack- 
ing the Apostle." " The plan they adopted " was to get 
the board of Ncopoioi " to organise a demonstration 
against the Apostle." Demetrius called together the 
silversmiths and " those engaged in kindred trades. He 
appeals first to their trade interests, and soon proceeds to 
work upon their fanaticism." 

* In order to represent H. quite accurately, I preserve his own 
v.ords as far as possible. 

VII. St. Paul at Ephestis. 1 2 i 

The narrative in Acts xix. in its opening words states 
the connection between the silversmiths and Artemis : 
Demetrius " made silver shrines of Diana," and his trade 
would therefore disappear if her worship decayed. H., 
however, argues that this phrase is inexplicable and un- 
intelligible, and that it is a bad inference from the words 
of an earlier narrator and eyewitness, who had described 
Demetrius as a silversmith by trade, holding the office of 
Neopoios of Artemis. The title was misunderstood by the 
author, who, in recasting his authority, altered i/eoTroio? 
ApTefjaho^ into ttolmv vaov<=; dpyupov^ 'ApTep^iSo^. Let us, 
for the moment, grant this assumption, and substitute the 
new version for the old. The first thing that then strikes 
us is, that in this version the narrative does not explain 
how the trade interests were threatened. Demetrius says 
to the silversmiths, " By this business we have our wealth " : 
he then tells them that the worship of Diana is threatened, 
and the inference is that their trade is in danger. This 
speech has no meaning unless Demetrius is addressing 
tradesmen who work for the temple ; and no person who 
conceived the circumstances vividly, from personal know- 
ledge, could relate the story without putting in the forefront 
an explanation of the close relation between the trade and 
the worship of Artemis. Silversmiths were common in all 
Greek cities ; the silver work of Athens was famous and 
lucrative, yet it had no relation to the worship of Artemis. 
There must have been some reason why the silversmiths of 
Ephesus were peculiarly connected with the temple, and 
this reason must have been stated at the outset of the tale, 
for it is assumed throughout as the explanation of the 
whole proceedings. 

We must then suppose that the original authority began 

1 2 2 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

his tale with a statement showino- the connection between 
the trade, whose champion Demetrius makes himself, 
and the religion with which Demetrius assumes that the 
interests of that trade are identified. This connection must 
either be the same as that which is assigned in Acts, or a 
different one. H. evidently considers that it was a different 
one, both because he states that the author " misappre- 
hended the document before him," and because he con- 
siders that Demetrius drove "a brisk trade in metal statuettes" 
of the goddess Artemis. This, then, was the connection 
stated in the original authority. We have to suppose that 
the author of Acts not merely misapprehended the meaning 
of Neopoios, but also omitted the explanation of the con- 
nection of the trade with Artemis-worship, and substituted 
a different explanation. 

The term Neopoios was a very common one, and the 
office existed not merely in Ephesus, but in many others 
of the Greek cities of Asia. It would be quite as strong 
a proof of ignorance to interpret Neopoios as equivalent to 
maker of temples, as it would now be to confuse between 
Major-General and Lord Mayor. That the writer of 
Acts should not understand the meaning of Neopoios is 
hardly probable ; but that he should so arbitrartly and 
violently alter the account of the eyewitness whom he 
follows is in the highest degree improbable. 

Another objection occurs to me, which in view of H.s 
high authority on the antiquities of Ephesus, I hardly 
venture to state. I have never seen the phrase veoiroCo^ 
'AprefxtSo^;, which he assumes to have been used in the 
original authority. The officials in question are, in all the 
inscriptions which I remember to have seen, called veoiroiol 
simply. I may assume that H. would not have used the 

VI I , St. Pattl at Ephesus. 123 

other title unless he could justify it from the inscriptions ; 
but I wish he had quoted an example. Neopoioi of Aphro- 
dite at Apbrodisias* do not, in view of the diversity of 
usage in different cities, seem to me a sufficient justification 
for a iV^^/'^/^i- of Artemis at Ephesus. But considering H.'s 
accuracy and knowledge of Ephesus, I simply appeal to him 
for information on this point. I maintain, however, that, if 
he cannot justify the phrase by the authority of inscriptions, 
in which these officials occur very frequently, the use of a 
wrong title would constitute precisely one of those errors in 
detail, which might be used as a proof that his supposed 
eyewitness was no eyewitness, but an inventor.j 

5. Shrinks of Artemis. 

Is the phrase, " which made silver shrines of Diana," so 
inexplicable as H. supposes ? He says that none of the 
commentators have explained it ; and certainly all the 
references which he quotes from them justify his statement. 
The explanation has always seemed so obvious that I 
never thought of looking into a commentator. I have been 
familiar for years with terra-cotta shrines of Artemis, and 
had always understood that the richer classes bought silver 
shrines of a similar character. I claim no originality for 
the suggestion, which I have always understood to be 
accepted among archaeologists. I think I have read it as 
stated by Professor Ernst Curtius ; and if I remember 

* Cor;piis Inscr. Grcec, No. 281 1. Cf. Dittenberger, Sylloge, 6. 

t In his reply H. concedes this point. There is not any authority 
extant which would justify us in supposing that a well-informed 
person, about A.D. 57, would have used the phrase veonoios 'Aprenidos 
in speaking about these city officials. 

124 '^^' PcLul in Asia Minor. 

rightly he actually quoted the allusion in Acts xix. when 
publishing a monument of the class in question, I speak, 
however, from distant recollection, and as I write in Scot- 
land, where no scholar's library exists, I cannot verify the 

Such small shrines in marble abound, and they were 
especially used as dedicatory offerings in the cultus of that 
Asiatic goddess who was worshipped under the name of 
Artemis at Ephesus, and under other names, but with 
essential identity of character, in many other cities of 
Greek or semi-Greek character. Scores of examples are 
enumerated in the ArcJidologiscJie Zeitung for i88o,t and 
the number might easily be raised to hundreds. Terra- 
cotta shrines are not so numerous, partly on account of 
their more perishable character, and partly from the fact 
that in many cases part of the shrine was suppressed and 
left to the imagination, as was sometimes the case even in 
marble ; so that the shrines thus become little more than 
statuettes of Artemis. 

But the proper dedicatory offering to this goddess was 
not a simple statuette, but a shrine, I have elsewhere 
traced the history of this style of representation from the 
remotest period through its later developments \ in the 

* Mr. Cecil Smith, when I mentioned the point to him, soon found 
the reference — viz., AtJienische Mittheilungen, ii., p. 49. The 
illustration there will convince every one ; it shows exactly the kind 
of naos which Demetrius made, except that the material is terra- 

t See Conze's article on Hermes- Cad milos. 

X In yoiir7ial of Hellenic Studies, 1882, p. 45 : ** The figure at 
Magnesia, beside Mount Sipylos, commonly called ' Niobe,' is the 
earliest known example of a hieratic representation of Cybele common 
among- the Greeks. The goddess sits in a niche or naiskos, some- 

VII. St. Paul at Ephesus. 125 

cult of the goddess who was worshipped in Lydia and 
Phrygia under various names, such as Artemis, Cybele, 
Leto, Anaitis,* but who was really the same under all 
these names. The temples built by Greek architects in 
Ephesus, Sardis, etc., were beautiful, but did not rival in 
actual sanctity the simple and primitive shrines which alone 
were known in the early ages of the cultus ; and similarly 
the beautiful statues in which Greek art idealised their 
conception of Artemis did not serve the purposes of actual 
ritual so well as the primitive xoana of the nursing-mother 
(Artemis at Ephesus), or the mother of all nature (Cybele 
at Sardis), or the other slightly varying types of this 

The innumerable worshippers of the goddess required in- 
numerable dedicatory offerings of the style which was most 
likely to please her. A great city erected a great shrine 
with a colossal statue of the goddess ; private individuals 

times alone, sometimes accompanied by one or more figures, among 
whom is Hermes-Cadmilos, the Grecised form of her favourite and 
companion Atys. In ruder examples she sits in stiff fashion, holding 
in one hand the tympanon, in the other the phiale. Beside her are 
generally one or two lions. In more artistic examples she has laid 
aside the symbols, which give such unnatural stiffness to the ruder 
figures, and often caresses with one hand the lion, which climbs up 
to her knee or lies in her lap. In some cases the lion serves her 
as a footstool ; in other cases two sit in stiff symmetry, one on each 
side of her throne. Curtius has published an example of the most 
developed type, which he attributes, probably with justice, to the 
worship of the Ephesian Artemis." 

* She was called Anaitis by the Persian colonists who were settled 
by Cyrus in the Hermus valley, and who identified the native goddess 
with the Anaitis of their own land [Hist. Geogr.^ p. 124). On the 
identity of Artemis and Leto in the Lydo-Phrygian cults, see my 
papers " Artemis-Leto and Apollo-Lairbenoa " in Joiirjial of 
Jrlellenic Studies, 1890, pp. 216 ft'. 

126 5/. Pazil lit Asia Minor, 

propitiated her with miniature shrines, containing embodi- 
ments of her hving" presence. The vast temple near 
Ephesus and the tiny terra-cotta shrine were equally accept- 
able to Artemis ; she accepted from her votaries offerings 
according to their means. She dwelt neither in the vast 
temple nor in the tiny terra-cotta : she was implicit in 
the life of nature ; she was the reproductive power that 
kept the great world ever the same amid the constant flux 
of things. Mother of all and nurse of all, she was most 
really present wherever the unrestrained life of nature was 
most freely manifested, in the woods, on the mountains, 
among the wild beasts. Her worshippers expressed their 
devotion and their belief in her omnipresence by offering 
shrines to her, and doubtless by keeping shrines of the 
same kind in their own homes, certainly also by placing 
such shrines in graves beside the corpse, as a sign that 
the dead had once more gone back to the mother who bore 

The phrase in Acts xix. informs us that the term naoi, 
literally " dwellings," f was appropriated to the tiny shrines 
equally with the great temple ; the phrase is almost unique, 
for we are reduced to gather all our information about this 
religion from scattered hints and passing allusions. Ancient 
literature, as a rule, says least about those phases of ancient 
life which were so fundamental and so familiar to all as to 
be naturally assumed as present in the minds of all readers. 

* The commentators on Acts, and even Lightfoot in his note on 
Ignatius, E^hes. 9, omit these uses of the shrines, which are really 
the most important, especially the employment in graves. 

t Strictly i/aos denotes that part of the temple in which the image 
of the god was placed, and the whole temple as the dwelling of the 

VII. St. Paul at Ep/iesus, 127 

Precisely in regard to these phases archaeology comes to our 
aid, and interprets the wealth of meaning that underlies 
the literary references.* But I hope that I have shown 
how entirely consistent the phrase in Acts is with all 
that we know about the worship and nature of Artemis : 
it is one of those vivid touches which reveal the eye- 
witness, one of the incidental expressions which only a 
person who speaks with familiar knowledge can use, and 
which are full of instruction about popular ideas and 
popular language. 

A passage in a document of a slightly later period, the 
letter of Ignatius to the church of Ephesus, § 9, seems to 
prove that this use of the term itaos was widespread.! The 
h'ght thrown by these words of Ignatius on the phrase used 
in Acts xix. has not escaped Lightfoot's notice ; but in his 
commentary there seems to be one slight misconception. 
He treats the remarkable picture drawn by Ignatius of a 
religious procession as if it were an intentional picture of 
the great procession of the goddess at Ephesus. But 
Ignatius probably had never been at Ephesus, and his 
picture is no doubt painted after processions which he 
had seen at Antioch in Syria. It may, however, be safely 
used in illustration of all such processions, for its traits are 
generic and not confined to Antioch or to Ephesus. A 
picture found at Pompeii | in a rather mutilated state 

* According to Professor Mommsen's interpretation of a passage 
of Horace {E^ist. I., 6, 51), it contains the only occurrence of the 
woid. ^ondera as the name for the stepping-stones across streets, 
which are one of the first details that strike the modern visitor to 

t (Tvvoboi Trai/ref, 6eo(f)6poi Koi vao(f)6poi. 

X See Helbig, Wandgemdlde Cam;paiiie7is , 1476; Schreiber, 
Kultur-historischer Bilderatlas^ XVII. 10. 

128 5/. Paul in Asia Minor. 

represents a procession in honour of Hercules and Hebe ; 
and in it we see what Ignatius calls 7iaopJioroi^ persons 
carrying a miniature temple on a salver or board. 

When we consider the immense and widespread influence 
of the Ephesian Artemis, we must acknowledge that vast 
numbers of pilgrims coming even from considerable distances 
continually visited her shrine, and that vast numbers of 
*' iiaoi" (I accept the word on the authority of Acts xix. as 
the technical term used in the trade and by the pilgrims) 
were needed to supply the unceasing demand. Workers 
in marble and workers in terra-cotta drove a thriving trade 
through their connection with the temple, and this con- 
nection was directed and organised by Demetrius, evidently 
as guild-master * {irapei-xero rot? Te')(yiTaL<^ ipyacriav ov/c 
6Xi'y7]v).'\ The author sums up these tradesmen in the phrase, 
" the workmen of like occupation " (roi)? irepl to, Toiavra 
epydra^i). We can, however, well imagine that rich pilgrims 
dedicated shrines of precious metals ; and, even without any 
other evidence, the mere statement in Acts xix. is so 
natural and so consistent with the facts just stated, as to 
constitute sufficient proof that this was so. The silver- 

* H. has some excellent remarks on these guilds in the cities 
of Asia Minor. The institution still flourishes ; and each guild is 
directed by a master. I have briefly described the guild of street- 
porters in Smyrna under the Roman emj^ire in the ATncr. yourn. 
Arch., vol. i. A study of these ancient guilds is much needed. 
Maue in his treatise Prcefectus Fabrufn, and Liebenam in his 
Rd?nisches Vereinswescn, have done a great deal on this subject. 

t The reading of Codex BezcB in this verse is in some respects 
superior in vividness to the accepted text : ovros avuaOpoiaas tov^ nepl 
TO. TouivTa Te^vLTas, e(p7] npos avTovs, Avbpes avvT€)(^inTai, K.r.X. The form 
of address is more individualised ; but the distinction between Texvirai 
and (pyi'iTaL is lost. 

VII. St. Paul at Ephesits 129 

smiths were of course a craft of higher standing, greater 
skill in dcHcate work, larger profits, and therefore greater 
wealth and influence, than the potters and marble-workers. 
How natural then it is that it should be a silversmith who 
gathered together a meeting of the associated trades and 
organised a disturbance ! The less educated workmen 
follow the lead of the great artisan. 

On this view every detail confirms the general effect. 
We are taken direct into the heart of artisan life in Ephesus; 
and all is so characteristic, so true to common life, and so 
unlike what would occur to any person writing at a distance, 
that the conclusion is inevitable : we have here a picture 
drawn from nature, and copied literally by the author of 
Acts from the narrative of an eyewitness. 

6. Attitude of the Ephesian Officials towards 


On the other hand, look at the picture drawn by H. The 
riot is got up by the priests through the agency of a leading 
official and his board of colleagues. That is precisely the 
idea that would occur to any person inventing such an 
incident. Paul goes to Ephesus ; he preaches at first with 
effect ; the priests are alarmed, and raise a dangerous riot 
against him. Such is the picture that every inventor of the 
biography of a saint ^ is sure to draw : the priests at once 
occur to his mind as the natural enemies of his hero. There 
is nothing characteristic and individual about such an 

* Though the early saints of Asia Minor are, as a rule, real persons, 
yet their biographies are, in general, deficient in historical value, 
being invented, or at least profoundly modified, in later centuries. 
Only the discovery of early evidence can enable us to learn anything 
definite about their real history. 


130 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

account ; all is commonplace, and coloured by the religious 
ideas of a later time. 

The first way in which Christianity excited the popular 
enmity, outside the Jewish community, was by disturbing 
the existing state of society and trade, and not by making 
innovations in religion. The rise of a new god and a new 
worship was a matter of perfect indifference to almost 
everybody in the cities of the Roman provinces. In the 
Graeco-Roman world every one was quite accustomed to 
the introduction of new deities from other countries. The 
process had been going on with extraordinary frequency, 
and had produced a sort of eclectic religion in all Grseco- 
Roman cities. The priests of Artemis looked on it with 
indifference. They had not found it injurious to their 
interests ; rather, the growth of each new superstition added 
to the influence of Artemis and her priests. Isis was no 
enemy to Artemis. 

The narrative of the New Testament has led to a general 
misapprehension on this point. We are so accustomed to 
the strong religious feeling of the Jews and the intolerant 
fanaticism with which they persecuted all dissentient 
opinion, that we are apt to forget that this feeling was 
peculiar to them, and beyond any other of their character- 
istics excited the wonder of the tolerant, easy-going in- 
differentism of the ordinary pagans, who did not care two 
straws whether their neighbour worshipped twenty gods 
or twenty-one. A new deity preached in Ephesus, a new 
inmate of their eclectic pantheon : it was all a matter of 

Gradually people began to realise that Christianity meant 
a social revolution, tnat it did not mean to take its place 
alongside of the other religions, but to destroy them. The 

VI I. St. Paul at Ephesus, 1 3 r 

discovery was made in a homely way, familiar to us all — 
viz., through the pocket. Certain trades began, with all 
the sensitiveness of the money-market, to find themselves 
affected. The gradual progress of opposition to Christianity 
is well marked in the Acts, and is precisely in accordance 
with the above exposition. When Paul began to preach 
in Asia Minor, he at first experienced no opposition except 
from the Jews. In Antioch of Pisidia, in Iconium, in 
Lystra, in Thessalonica, his experience was always the 
same. The Gentiles were indifferent or even friendly, the 
Jews bitterly hostile. But in Philippi occurred the incident 
of the " maid having a spirit of divination " ; and " when 
her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone," 
they accused Paul as a Jew of inciting to illegal conduct 
and violation of the Roman law, and turned to their own 
account the general dislike felt by both Romans and Greeks 
towards the Jews. 

Similarly in Ephesus the first opposition against Paul 
was roused when the trades connected with Artemis- 
worship felt their pockets touched, and then the riot arose. 
It was not a religious persecution, but a social and mer- 
cenary one. So far am I from thinking with H., that " the 
hierarchy would be sensible of the Apostle's influence before 
any others suspected it," that I should not be surprised if 
priests or leading supporters of the worship of Artemis were 
among the Asiarchs, who were " the only influential friends 
of Paul at Ephesus." Probably the priests of Artemis 
would act like the priests at Lystra ; they would encourage 
the " revival," and try to turn it to their own account, as 
in so many cases previously such " revivals " of religious 
feeling had ultimately only enriched Artemis and her 

132 67. Paul in Asia Minor. 

Another contradiction between the account cfiven in 
Acts xix. and H.'s theory must be noticed. According to 
the latter, the officials who organised the riot were rewarded 
for this action with a special vote of distinction by the 
senate and the popular assembly. But according to the 
account in Acts, it was a thoroughly disorderly riot, dis- 
couraged by the Asiarchs, and rebuked by the city clerk 
as a groundless disturbance, which involved the magistrates 
and the city in danger at the instance of the Roman law 
(see ver. 40). This contradiction alone would be fatal to 
the theory against which I am arguing ; or rather, if the 
theory be true, it convicts the author of Acts xix. as guilty 
of a most inaccurate and prejudiced account, and as an 
altogether useless authority for history. 

I prefer then to follow the version of the incident given 
in Acts. Far from finding that " the action of Demetrius 
appears in a new and far more significant light if he really 
was the Demetrius of the inscription, and if the honour 
therein voted to him and his colleagues by the senate and 
people of Ephesus was in recognition of the services 
rendered by him and them on behalf of the national 
goddess," I think that this theory both involves us in con- 
tradiction to the general situation recorded in Acts, and 
reduces the incident from a marvellously vivid and true 
picture of society in Ephesus to a commonplace and unin- 
structive tale. 

If I were to trust my own inference from Acts, I should 
picture the riot as entirely that of an ignorant mob, 
fomented by an artisan more far-seeing than his neighbours. 
It was a riot disapproved of alike by priests and by magis- 
trates : the former saw nothing In Paul to characterize him 
as dangerous to the goddess (see ver. 37) ; the latter felt 

VII. St. Paul at Ephestts. 133 

that the riot was contrary to the Roman regulations. The 
distinction which H. makes between the attitude of the 
Asiarchs and that of the priests of Artemis towards Paul is 
entirely groundless, and forms an unfortunate conclusion to 
a paragraph, great part of which is excellently expressed 
and thoroughly true. The cultus of the emperors did 
indeed prepare the way for the Christian Church ; but this 
preparation was quite involuntary. It co-ordinated the 
various religions of the province into something approxi- 
mating to a single hierarchy. But to maintain that the 
officials of the imperial cultus, i.e.^ the Asiarchs, naturally 
represented a different point of view from the priests of 
Artemis is to go against all evidence. These officials were 
simply provincials, selected chiefly on account of their 
wealth and sometimes against their will ; they did not 
represent the point of view of the Roman governors, but the 
average view of the upper classes of the province Many 
of them no doubt had held priesthoods of the native deities 
before they became officials of the imperial cultus ; in fact, 
it is probable that the native priesthoods were a sort of 
stepping-stone to the Asiarchate. The attitude of the 
Asiarchs towards Paul may then be taken as a fair in- ^ 
dication of the tone of the educated classes, among whom 
I include the higher priests. The attitude of Demetrius 
and the mob was that of tradesmen whose trade was 
threatened, and who got up a demonstration on its behalf. 

We find, then, that the attitude of the officials and of the 
educated part of the Ephesian people was that of curiosity 
and intelligent interest in the new doctrines. This curiosity 
was in the air at the time throughout the Eastern world ; 
and it is one of the signs of a very early date in the 
narrative, that it shows no trace of the feeling of dislike to 

134 '^^' PcL'iil ^^ Asia A^inor, 

the new religion which soon began to spread abroad. Here 
and always we find that the spread of Christianity at first 
was favoured by a measure of intelligence and freedom of 
mind in those among whom it was preached. 

7. Fate of the Silver Shrines. 

One objection made by H. must be met. " If these 
silver shrines were common articles of merchandise, such as 
pilgrims to the famous temple purchased to take back to 
their homes, then we might fairly expect to find some 
specimens still extant among the treasures of our museums." 
Probably the chief use made of silver shrines was, not to 
take home, but to dedicate in the temple. They were 
sold by the priest to the worshippers, and dedicated by the 
latter to the goddess : similar examples of trade carried on 
by priests are too familiar to need quotation. Why then 
have these silver shrines all disappeared ? Simply on 
account of their value. They have all gone into the melting- 
pot, many of them being placed there by the priests them- 
selves. Dedicatory offerings were so numerous, that the; 
had to be cleared out from time to time to make room for 
new anatJieiiiata. The terra-cotta shrines, being worthless, 
would be thrown away quietly, the silver would be melted 
down. Those which remained to a later period met the 
same fate at other hands, less pious, but equally greedy. 
H. indeed speaks apparently of silver statuettes of Artemis 
as common.* The expression, however, is only a careless 

* His words are (p. 417) : " Statuettes " (sharply distinguished by 
H. from shrines) " of the Ephesian Diana were to be found every- 
where in the Greco- Roman world. In fact, these statuettes of the 
goddess, reproducing all her hideous Oriental features, may be 
found in bronze, in silver, or in terra-cotta, in every European 

VI I. St, Pmd at Ephesits, 135 

and probably unintentional one ; for existing examples of 
them are so rare as to be unknown to me. 

8. Great Artemis. 
After Demetrius' speech the excited mob began to shout 
" Great is Artemis ! " and at a later stage they spent about 
two hours in clamour to the same effect. The phrase is 
noteworthy. In such circumstances there can be no doubt 
that some familiar formula would rise to their lips ; it 
would not be mere chance words that suggested themselves 
to a whole crowd, but words which were well known to all. 
We are therefore justified in inferring from this passage that 
the phrase, " Great is Artemis ! " was a stock expression 

museum. The type was exceedingly common, and witnessed to the 
wide extent of the worship. If the writer of the Acts had spoken 
of Demetrius as driving a brisk trade in these metal statuettes, the 
narrative would have corresponded with the facts. As it is, the 
statement that Demetrius was the maker of * silver shrines' is either 
to be set down as a loose mode of expression, or else it awaits 

In these sentences H. does not explicitly say that statuettes in 
silver may be found in every museum. But he proceeds to reason 
as if this were stated, and assumes throughout the rest of his 
remarks that he has proved silver statuettes to be quite common. 
In his reply to the article which is here reprinted, he says, 
" I should like to see and handle some specimens of metal 
shrines of Artemis discovered at Ephesus. In default of such 
metal shrines or of any mention of them elsewhere than in 
this passage, I made bold to suggest metal statuettes. Such 
metal statuettes are well known in modern museums." In this 
last sentence H. must either mean that silver statuettes are common 
in museums, or he has abandoned his case. He insists on seeing 
silver shrines, and till they arc shown he declines to believe in 
their existence. In my criticism I plainly put the case to him that 
silver statuettes of the Ephesian Artemis were unknown to me, and 
quoted in a footnote Mr. Cecil Smith's statement (made in answer 

13^ S^. Paid m Asia Minor. 

in the religion, just as we might argue from a single 
loyal demonstration that "God save the Queen!" was a 
stock phrase in our own country, or XpicrjiavMV Baa-cXicov 
TToWa ra errj a current phrase in Constantinople under the 
Byzantine emperors. Conversely, if we can prove that 
*' Great is Artemis ! " was a stock phrase of Artemis-worship, 
we shall add one more to the list of vivid, natural, and 
individualised traits in this scene. 

We have very scanty information about the ritual of the 
goddess of Ephesus and of Western Asia Minor in general ; 
but recent discoveries have added greatly to our knowledge. 
The expressions " the great Artemis, " the queen of 
Ephesus," * were formerly proved to have been actually 

to a question which I addressed to him on the point), that in the 
British Museum there is no silver statuette of the Ephesian Artemis, 
and only one supposed doubtfully to represent the Greek Artemis. 
Metal statuettes of the Ephesian Artemis do not prove H.'s case, 
for he himself explicitly demands proof of silverwork. But even 
metal statuettes of the Ephesian Artemis are unknown to me ; and 
I ask for proof of H.'s reiterated statement, that they are common 
in museums. A single example, or even two, will not prove his 
words to be accurate. Even marble and terra-cotta statuettes of 
+he type which is commonly called the Ephesian Artemis (and 
which is clearly intended by H.) are, so far as my own experience 
goes, rare. I know of only four examples in terra-cotta, and Wood 
[E^/ies., p. 270) gives an illustration of a marble statuette which he 
had seen in private possession at Mylasa. Baumeister's Dcjikfndler 
and Roscher's Lexico?i der Mythulogie, s. v. Artemis, do not 
mention any statuettes, but only statues, of the Ephesian Artemis. 
I believe that H. has unintentionally exaggerated the importance 
of this type. Representations of the other type in niches are 
common in marble and terra-cotta ; and the value of the metal is 
a sufScient explanation why none in silver are known. The silver 
figures quoted in H.'s reply were not of the Ephesian Artemis. 

* Tri<i fxeyd\T]i Beds 'AprcjuiSor, Corp. I?iscr. Grccc, 2963 c. : 'E^cVou 
"Ar/ao-o-a, 2b., 6797. Cp. Xen. Eph. I. I r, p. 15, Ach. Tat. VIII. 9, p. 501. 

VJI. St. Paul at Ep he sits. 137 

used of the goddess ; but proof was wanting that the 
epithet " great " was so pecuHarly and regularly associated 
with her as to rise naturally to the lips of her worshippers 
as a sort of formula in her service. 

In 1887 Mr. Hogarth, Mr. Brown, and myself found the 
site of a temple dedicated to a goddess and her son, 
Artcmis-Leto and Apollo-Lairbenos, at the Phrygian city 
of Dionysopolis. Beside it we found numerous inscriptions 
of a remarkable type. They were all erected within the 
sacred precinct by persons bound to the service of the two 
deities. They agree in representing the authors as having 
come before the god when polluted with some physical or 
moral impurity (sometimes of a very gross kind), and when 
therefore unfit to appear before the god. The offenders are 
chastised by the god (in some cases at least, perhaps in all 
cases, with disease) ; they confess and acknowledge their 
fault, and thereby appease the god. They are cured of 
their ailment, or released from their punishment, and finally 
they relate the facts in an inscription as a pattern and a 
warning to others not to treat the god lightly. 

In publishing these inscriptions,* I have drawn out a 
number of analogies between the formulae used in them and 
those hieratic formulae which we can trace at Ephesus ; 
and have argued that the religion of Ephesus and of 
Dionysopolis was fundamentally the same. Among the 

* Joiiriial of Hellenic Studies, 1889, p. 216 ff., in completion of 
a paper by Mr. Hogarth, ib., 1887, p. 376 ff. In my paper I have to 
make one correction in a detail of the fourth inscription. The phrase 
'Ar^ty ^Ayad)]H€pov must be translated " Atthis, wife of Agathemeros." 
This sense of the formula, though not absolutely unknown in 
Greek, is according to Latin custom ; for Latin legal usages and 
words {e.g:, e^eunXdpiov) were diffused from the conventus of 

138 5/. Pmtl m Asia Minor. 

formula common to the two cults is the cry, " Great 
Apollo ! " " Great Artemis ! " The former occurs as the 
heading of one of these confessions at Dionysopolis, and 
was evidently a regular formula of invocation addressed to 
the god by a worshipper. In these inscriptions, and in an- 
other group found in the Katakekaumene, the great power 
of the goddess is even oftener insisted on than that of 
her son : e.g.^ " I thank mother Leto, because she makes 
impossibilities possible" is the exclamation of a pious epi- 
graphist * at Dionysopolis, and in the Katakekaumene we 
find the heading " Great Anaitis"t over a confession of the 
type just described. The Oriental colonists of the latter 
(as has already been remarked) often applied the Oriental 
name Anaitis to the Lydo-Phrygian goddess. 

In other seats of Artemis-worship we find that her great 
power is insisted on in the same way. The Artemis of 
the lakes is called Great Artemis in an inscription.]: The 
Artemis of Therma in Lesbos is invoked by the single 
phrase " Great Artemis of Therma " on a stone still standing 
by the road between Mitylene and Therma. § 

Pamphylia affords a good parallel to Ephesus. The 
cult of the Pergaean Artemis closely resembled that of the 
Ephesian goddess. The former was styled the Queen 
of Perga, and the tribe at Sillyon (a neighbouring town), 
which bore the name of the goddess, was called " the tribe 
of the great one." || 

* Journal of Hellenic Studies ^ 1883, p. 385. 

t Smyrna Mousezo?i, No. v\^\ 

X Hist Geogr., p. 410. 

§ VXohn, Lcsbiaca, p. 117; Bulletin de Corresp. Hellcn.^ 1880, 
p. 430. 

II As this last fact has never been observed, so far as I know, I 
shall point out the evidence on which both statements rest. In 1880 

VII. St. Piml at Ephesus. 139 

These numerous analogies show that the power of the 
Ephesian goddess was insisted on in the cultus, and that 
her greatness was vividly present to the mind of her 
worshippers, and prompted the cry " Great Artemis." The 
invocations "Great Apollo" at Dionysopolis, "Great Anaitis" 
in the Katakekaumene, " Great Artemis " in Lesbos, afford 
complete corroboration of the title " Great Artemis " 
mentioned in Acts. 

9. Text of Acts xix. 23-41. 

Here we find a discrepancy between the inscriptions and 
the received text of Acts. The customary phrase was an 
invocation " Great Artemis," but the text of Acts reads 
" Great is Artemis," as a formal assertion. There can be 
no doubt that it would be a far more striking trait if the 
narrative represented the population as using the precise 
phrase which has just been proved to have been common 
in their ritual. Also, we cannot fail to observe that popular 
shouts are not usually expressed in the indicative. The 
suspicion suggests itself, that the populace used their ordinary 

I published in the journal of Hellenic Studies a paper on the 
then undeciphered Pamphylian alphabet, in which (p. 246) the title 
" Queen of Perga " was given as the explanation of the enigmatic 
legend on some coins of the city. This explanation has been ac- 
cepted by almost every subsequent writer, and may be regarded as 
certain. In the same paper (p. 253) the group of letters MHEIAAE, 
which occurs several times in an inscription of Sillyon, was explained 
as the Pamphylian dialetic form of fxeydXr]. The latter interpretation 
has not been so widely accepted, though it has met with the approval 
of several very good scholars. A recently discovered inscription of 
Sillyon shows that one of the tribes was called MeaXeiny. It is 
evidently named after the MeiaXr; goddess. The inscription is pub* 
lished in Bulletin de Corresp. Hellen., )889, p. 486. 

140 SL Paul in Asia Minor. 

phrase, and that their words have been misrepresented by 
a very shght alteration, viz., the duplication of the letter 77, 
so that fjbe<yakrj "Ap7€/jLL<i became fieydXT) rj "AprefiLS'. We 
turn, then, to the manuscripts to see whether we can find 
any confirmation of this suspicion. 

The best manuscripts are agreed on this point : they 
read " Great is Artemis " ; but Codex Bezce * preserves the 
form which, as wc see from the inscriptions, was actually 
used in the cultus. The latter form, moreover, lends more 
character to the scene. The mob for two hours invoked 
with loud voice the goddess and queen of Ephesus, but it 
is much less natural to represent them as shouting in the 
streets and in the theatre the statement that Artemis is 
great. The people were praying, not arguing against Paul's 
doctrines ; and there is a keen sarcasm in the way their 
praying is described, eKpa^ov Xeyourefi 28 and Kpd^ovre^ 34. 
Consistently with the principle we have hitherto followed, 
we must give in this case the preference to the invocation, 
and suppose that Codex BezcB alone preserves it, while the 
other manuscripts have suffered ; and the change has been 
due to a misunderstanding of the scene,! ^.s if the cry were 
a controversial assertion in opposition to the doctrine 
preached by St. Paul. The preservation of the correct form 
in Codex BezcE would be facilitated, if that MS. represents a 

* Alone in xix. 34, supported by three cursives in xix. 28. 

t Probably the change arose through an accidental duplication of 
;;, and then spread by deliberate preference due to the misunder- 
standing. If, on the other hand, we suppose that in this case Codex 
^^z<^ does not give the original text, but an alteration of the original 
text, due to the influence of the popular formula, this supposition will 
strongly confirm the theory maintained in Chap, viii., that the text of 
Codex Bczcc is founded on a revision of the text made in Asia Minor. 

VI I. St. Paul at Ephesus, 141 

text current in the province Asia, where this cry or prayer 
must long have been familiar to the Christians. 

I need hardly spend more time on the point. The 
Ephesians habitually invoked their goddess as " Great 
Artemis," and their common formula of prayer rose to their 
lips on this occasion in the theatre. The reading of Codex 
Bez(E, which alone retains the form actually used by the 
people, must here be preferred. From whatever point of 
view we contemplate the narrative, the superior vividness 
and suitability of this interpretation of the scene becomes 
apparent ; and, at the risk of wearying the reader, I may 
add one more consideration. The majority of the people 
in the theatre were ignorant of what was the matter (xix. 
32). They had heard the shouting in the street,* and 
had with the usual human instinct joined the crowd and 
filled the theatre. But they did not know that the riot 
was directed against Paul, and could not therefore share in 
the feeling which might have prompted the argumentative 
statement, " Great is Artemis " ; whereas, when they had 
learned from the shouts that something connected with 
the goddess was on hand, the customary invocation would 
naturally suggest itself to them. 

The use of the nominative form in place of the vocative 
'ApT€fj.t, need not cause any surprise or difficulty. The con- 
fusion of forms, and the substitution of the nominative form 
for the vocative, began early in Asia Minor ; and " Apr ejus 
for "AfjT€/jLi was adopted even in Greece at no very late 
date. A similar confusion of nominative and vocative 
forms occurs in a Cappadocian inscription, which may 

* On this point, which also is preserved only in Codex Bezce, see 
below, p. 153. 

142 SL Paid in Asia Minor. 

serve to complete the proof that the formula under con- 
sideration was a widely spread invocation. The inscription 
in question is a dedication to the great Cappadocian god, 
Zeus of Venasa : " Great Zeus in heaven, be propitious to 
me Demetrius" (^ixi<ya<^ Zev^ iv ovpav\(pf llaOi] et\eco9 /jlol 
Ay/jLTjTpio)). It lies on a hilltop, which was probably sacred 
to the god.* Here we have the same formula, introducing 
a fully expressed prayer, yet the nominative form is used 
as in the Ephesian and Lesbian invocations (v. p. 145 n). 

One other example of the epithet " great " may be added, 
as illustrating the prevalence of the idea in Asia Minor. 
At Laodiceia on the Lycus, some coins which bear the 
cffigiy of the local deity, Zeus, have the legend Zeyc Aceic. 
M. Waddington is in all probability right in proposing to 
understand this word as the Semitic Aziza, "mighty." Syrian 
colonists in the city which was founded by a Greek king of 
Syria left this trace of their language in the religion of the city. 

One striking parallel to the scene in the theatre must 
not be omitted. In the scene on Mount Carmel, the four 
hundred and fifty prophets of Baal " called on the name 
of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, 
hear us . . . and they cried aloud, and cut themselves after 
their manner with knives" (i Kings xviii. 26). Except 
for the wounds inflicted on themselves in the vehemence 
and agony of Oriental prayer, the loud invocation of the 
prophets is similar to the prayers of the Ephesians in the 
theatre ; and it is highly probable that even the epithet 
" great " was used by the former as well as by the latter. 

^- I published it in Bulletin de Co7'resp. Hellcn., 1883, p. 322, 
doubting the connexion with the worship of Zeus of Venasa. I have 
since shown that Venasa was the plain round this hill {Hist. Geogr., 
p. 292). My former restoration, eoro), is perhaps right. 

VII. St. Pa7il at Ephestis. 143 

10. Historical Character of the Narrative, 

Acts xix. 23-41. 

The more closely wc are able to test the story In Acts, 
the more vivid and true to the situation and surroundings 
does it prove to be, and the more justified are we in pressing 
closely every inference from the little details that occur in 
it. I entertain the strong hope that the demonstration 
which has now been given of its accuracy in disputed 
points, will do away with all future doubt as to the faithful- 
ness of the picture that it gives of Ephesian society in A.D. 
57. Even though we cannot agree with H.'s conclusions, 
our best thanks are due to him for directing our close and 
minute attention to this most interesting historical scene, 
and to the inscription he has so ingeniously pieced together. 
In his paper there are many observations and many passages 
of permanent interest and value ; and parts of it which lie 
beyond the scope of this chapter give much information 
about the state of Ephesus between 50 and 150 A.D. The 
finest part of it is his proof that a revival of paganism in 
Ephesus began probably as early as A.D. 104. In corrobora- 
tion of this view he might also have referred to the series of 
imperial coins struck under Hadrian, and bearing the name 
and image of DIANA EPHESIA. Roman imperial coins 
cannot bear the name of a non-Roman deity ; and we 
may therefore see in them the proof that the defence of 
the Ephesian goddess was formally constituted a part of the 
Imperial policy at or before this time. 

One of the most interesting facts in the history of religion 
under the Empire is the influence that was exerted by the 
new religion on the old ; and the progress of discovery is 
gathering a store of information on this point, which will, 

144 ^^' i^<^i^i-^ ii^ Asia Hit nor. 

at some future time, make a remarkable picture. In the 
first century we observe a general tone of indifference and 
careless ease in the higher classes, the municipal magistrates, 
and even the priesthood. Afterwards this security is dis- 
turbed. New zeal and earnestness are imparted to paganism ; 
its ceremonial is more carefully studied ; and even certain, 
doctrines are adopted from Christianity, and declared to 
have been always present in the old worship. 

H. in his reply considers that I have " overrated the 
tolerance of the local hierarchies."* I have, however, on 
my side at least the record of Acts. The priests of Zeus 
Propoleos at Lystra were the foremost in paying respect to 
Paul and Barnabas, and in stimulating and directing the 
zeal of the populace. They had known of the Apostles* 
preaching for some considerable time, for the accepted text 
implies that the Apostles had been evangelising for some 
time previously, and the text of Codex Bezce asserts that 
they had already produced much effect on the people.f 
The priests, however, showed no jealousy. They were 
willing and ready to patronise the Apostles, to give them 
place and honour, and to use the rev^ival of religious feeling 
for their own purposes. I have simply interpreted the 
attitude of the Ephesian priests according to the statement 
in Acts xix. 37,^ and the contemporary analogy of the 
priests at Lystra. H. quotes against my view the opposi- 
tion offered to the Christians in Bithynia by the priests in 
A.D. 112. Such opposition is not indeed recorded, but may 

* Expositor, August 1890, p. 146. 

i" Koi iKiVT]dr] oKov to TrKrjdos eVi tt) diSaxTI • addition tO xiv. 7« 

X Paul had neither been guilty of sacrilege (thus becoming amen- 
able to the ordinary procedure of the proconsul), nor of disrespect 
to the goddess (thus rousing the anger of the priests). 

VII. St. Paul at Ephesus. 145 

safely be assumed. But H. leaves out of sight the difference 
caused by the development of the situation since the period 
47-57 A.D. The period of indifference and toleration had 
been succeeded by that of apprehension and of confirmed 
hostility. H.'s example tells only against his own argument.* 

* While I have written throughout on the assumption that the 
date proposed by H. for the inscription of Demetrius is correct, I 
feel bound to think that it is rather too early. The form of the 
symbol 2 is not known to me before the second century, and the 
two instances which occur of O substituted for O point also to the 
period of confusion between these two letters. The confusion implies" 
that they had ceased to be distinguished in pronunciation, and it is 
hardly probable that this had taken place so early as A.D. 57. H. 
would explain the substitution of O for i2 as a mere fault of the en- 
graver, and not as the result of confusion in the pronunciation, quot- 
ing the occurrence of A for O and of X for Y. This is quite possible ; 
but two cases of O for i2 point more naturally to actual confusion in 
pronunciation. I mentioned these difficulties in a footnote written 
when I saw the original marble, and added to my article after it was 
in type. H. has not in his brief reply taken any notice of these 
difficulties. He rightly insists on the absence of Latin names as a 
proof of early date ; but in regard to this we must remember that, 
in a thoroughly Hellenised city like Ephesus, Greek names were 
used at all periods by those who had not actually gained the coveted 
prize of Roman citizenship. There are no Roman citizens in this 
ofificial inscription, which may be due to the fact that the Neopoioi 
were not officials of very high rank. 

Note (pp. 141, 142). — The references given in these paragraphs 
to the cultus of other deities are merely analogies, not arguments. 
We find on gems \iiya to ovofia ^apdnidos, and in Aristides I., p. 467, 
fjLeyas 6 ^AcrKKi]TrLos. 





I. Rapid Spread of Christianity in Asia Minor. 

IN view of the extraordinarily powerful effect which is 
described in Acts as produced in the country by the 
preaching of Paul, the question may fairly be put whether 
any evidence is known which tends either to corroborate or 
to throw doubt on the account there given. It is very 
difficult to find any evidence outside of the Christian 
documents, but anything that is known points to the 
conclusion that the new religion must hav'e made very 
rapid progress in Asia Minor during the first century. The 
testimony of Pliny is, that before II2 Christianity had 
spread so widely in his province that the pagan ritual was 
actually interrupted and the temples almost deserted (see 
p. 198). Various other considerations* point to a similar 
result as having taken place in Phrygia at a very early 
time. It is probable, therefore, that the new religion spread 
with marvellous rapidity from the beginning of St. Paul's 
preaching in Western Asia Minor. Unless that were so, 
it is hard to see how the social condition of Asia Minor 
during the second century could have been produced. On 
the other hand, no evidence of the early spread of 
Christianity in the great plains of the Axylon and in North 

* E.g.^ the Montanist quarrel could hardly arise in a small sect. 


VI 11. Authority for St. Pattr s Journeys. 147 

Galatia is known to me ; and in regard to part of this 
region, I have concluded from epigraphic evidence that 
paganism continued dominant till the third or fourth 

With regard to the west coast of Asia, among the great 
Greek cities like Ephesus and Smyrna, the condition of 
things was midway between these two extremes. It 
appears probable that the Christians were both numerous 
and influential there during the second century ; but they 
do not seem to have had the same dominating influence 
that we must attribute to them in Phrygia. Can any 
reason be found for these apparent variations ? Where the 
Greek spirit and education were completely dominant, 
the new religion spread with considerable rapidity, but 
a large part of the population was proof against its 
influence. Where the Greek education was unknown, the 
new religion seems to have made no progress at all. The 
regions where it spread most rapidly were those where the 
people were becoming aware of the beauty of Greek letters 
and the grandeur of Roman government, where they 
were awaking from the stagnation and inertness of an 
Oriental people, and their minds were stirred and receptive 
of all new ideas, whether Greek philosophy or Jewish 
or Christian religion. We have seen that St. Paul came 
into South Galatia just at the time when the Roman spirit 
was beginning to permeate the country, and that the four 
places where he is recorded to have founded churches were 
the four centres of Roman influence. 

We cannot fail to be struck with the strong hold that 

* See a paper on " Phrygian Inscriptions of the Roman period " in 
Zeitschriftfiir vergleichende S;prachforschung^ 1887, pp. 383, 398. 

148 S^. Paul in Asia Minor. 

Roman ideas had on the mind of St. Paul. In theory he 
recognises the universality of the Church (Col. iii. 11) ; but 
in practice he goes where the Roman Empire goes. We 
therefore feel compelled to suppose that St. Paul had 
conceived the great idea of Christianity as the religion 
of the Roman world ; and that he thought of the various 
districts and countries in which he had preached as parts 
of the grand unity. He had the mind of an organiser ; 
and to him the Christians of his earliest travels were not 
men of Iconium and of Antioch — they were a part of the 
Roman world, and were addressed by him as such. 

2. Distinction of Authorship. 

Throughout these chapters a distinction has been drawn 
between the author of Acts and the writer of the original 
document describing the journeys of St. Paul, which we 
assume to have been worked into the book as it has come 
down to us. This distinction socms to be proved, both 
by other reasons which do not come within our present 
purpose, and by the variation in Acts in the use of names 
denoting the districts of Asia Minor. The original docu- 
ment employs these names in the Roman sense, while in 
the earlier part of Acts the names are used in the popular 
Greek sense which was common in the century before and 
after Christ. There was at that time great uncertainty in 
the usage of the names denoting the great territorial districts 
of Asia Minor. Not merely were the boundaries of several 
of these districts very uncertain (so that, for example, the 
difficulty of drawing a dividing line between Mysia and 
Phrygia was proverbial) ; but also several of them had, 
according to the Roman provincial system, an extent dif- 

VI It. Authority for St. Pauls journeys. 149 

fercnt from that which they had according to older history, 
ethnical facts, and popular usage. The only source of 
diversity which concerns us here is the latter. There is 
no distinction of practical consequence in the extent of 
Lycia, Pamphylia, Bithynia ; Pontus and Cilicia also do not 
afford any criterion. Galatia and Asia are the two provinces 
in regard to which very serious difference of usage existed.* 

The use of these names in the Travel-Document has 
appeared very clearly in the preceding discussion. It 
appears to agree with the practice of St. Paul's Epistles. 
It is not possible to demonstrate that in the Epistles every 
name is used in the Roman sense, where the Roman and 
the popular sense differ ; but in some cases there is no room 
for doubt, and the invariable presumption that the Roman 
.sense is intended, is fully admitted even by Wendt, though 
he is an advocate of the North-Galatian theory.f 

In Acts ii. 9 the enumeration, " Pontus and Asia, Phrygia 
and Pamphylia," is distinctly popular and Greek in style. 
According to the Roman fashion Phrygia was included in 
Asia, except a small part which belonged to Galatia. In 
making such an enumeration a Roman would not have 
omitted Galatia, nor would he have mentioned Phrygia, for 

* In Greece a similar difference existed in regard to the names 
Achaia and Macedonia ; which to the Romans meant two large 
provinces, and to the Greeks two much smaller districts. 

t So in the latest edition of " Meyer's Commentary," 1888. In the 
previous edition, Wendt held that the Epistle to the Galatians was 
written to the churches of Antioch, etc. But even in the latest edition 
he still admits that Paul used the provincial names according to the 
Roman sense. He admits this even in the case of Galatia as it is 
used in i Cor. xvi. i (see Comm. on Acts xiii. g) ; and why he should 
deny that in the Epistle to the Galatians, Galatia is used in the 
same sense as in i Corinthians, it is difficult to see. 

150 Sl Paul in Asia Minor. 

to a Roman Phrygia had no political existence. Mysia and 
Phrygia and Lydia were in the Roman sense merely geo- 
graphical terms denoting parts of the province of Asia, 
which he might sometimes feel himself obliged to use (as, 
e.g.^ in Acts xvi. 9), in order to specify more distinctly some 
exact position within the province, but which he would not 
employ in an enumeration of countries and provinces like 
Acts ii. 9 ff. 

Asia is a term about which it is very difficult to decide. 
The Roman province Asia had been formed in 133 B.C., and 
the name seems to have soon come into popular use, because 
there was no other term to denote the ^gean coast lands. 
But during the first century before Christ, the province was 
greatly increased in size, and it is very difficult to determine 
after this time whether the name Asia is used in the popular 
sense of the vEgean coast lands, or denotes the entire 
Roman province ; in short, whether it includes Phrygia or 
not. In Acts ii. 9 Asia is pointedly used in the popular 
sense, excluding Phrygia. 

In Acts vi. 9 the use of the term Asia is quite consistent 
with either the Roman or the popular sense. The Jews in 
question are probably those educated in the rhetorical 
schools of Smyrna and Pergamos ; the Phrygian Jews 
would be less likely to have received a philosophical 
education and to engage in subtle discussions, but they 
were numerous, and may be included. 

There are only these two verses from which any inference 
can be drawn as to the usage in Acts i.-xi. ; but even 
one clear example is a sufficient proof that some parts of 
these chapters use a geographical nomenclature different 
from that which is employed in the Travel-Document and 
in the Epistles. 

VIII. Authority for St. Paurs Journeys. 1 5 1 

On one point of great interest this theory perhaps throws 
some Hght — viz., on the abrupt ending of Acts in the middle 
of St. Paul's imprisonment. Probably the original Travel - 
Document was composed in the sphere of his influence 
during that imprisonment ? If that be so, the author of 
Acts stopped where his chief authority stopped : perhaps 
he intended to complete the tale in another work, using 
different authorities. 

3. Text of Codex Bezm : Asia Minor. 

In addition to the points which have already been 
noticed, it will be convenient to examine some other 
passages bearing on the antiquities of Asia Minor, in which 
Codex BezcE differs from the received text of Acts, and 
thereafter to examine some of the variations in the narra- 
tive of St. Paul's adventures in Greece. 

The radical change of text in xvi. 9, 10, is very re- 
markable. The scene is described with a vividness and 
completeness of detail that almost incline us to think that 
Codex Bezce gives here the original text. But perhaps the 
reading of this Codex may be best explained as an alter- 
ation founded on a tradition still surviving in the churches 
of Asia, " And [in] a vision by night there appeared to 
Paul [as it were] a man of Macedonia,* standing [before 
his face], beseeching him and saying, ' Come over into 
Macedonia and help us.' [Awaking, therefore, he related 
the vision to us, and we perceived that] the Lord had 
called us for to preach the gospel unto them in Mace- 
donia : and [on the morrow] setting sail," etc. 

In xviii. 24 Codex Bez(B\i-^s ' AiroXKoivio^ for the common 

* The changes in Codex Bezce are marked by square brackets. 

152 5"/. Paul in Asia Minor, 

^A7roW(o<;. The latter is the familiar diminutive or pet-name 
of the former. The same person may be spoken of by both 
names, as in an English book the same person might be 
spoken of sometimes as Henry, sometimes as Harry. A 
similar example occurs in the case of Prisca, as she is 
called by Paul in Rom. xvi. 3, but who is generally 
known by the diminutive Priscilla.* Apparently the 
reviser was offended by the use of the familiar ApoUos 
in a passage of serious and lofty tone, just as in a highly 
wrought passage of Burke one would be offended by a 
reference to Will Shakespeare. Accordingly he substituted 
the full name ApoUonius. 

In xix. 9 the addition c/tto wpa? e' eo)? SeKurrj^; can hardly 
be explained except as a deliberate impertinence (which is 
improbable), or as founded on an actual tradition, which 
was believed by the reviser to have survived in Ephesus 
from the time of St. Paul's residence there. It is quite 
probable that this tradition is true. The school would be 
open for Paul's use after the scholars were dismissed. Now 
schools opened at daybreak, both in Greece and in Rome. 
Martial was wakened before sunrise by the noise of a 
school (ix. 68, xii. 57), and Juvenal describes, in his exag- 
gerated style, the teacher at work from midnight onwards, 
and the scholars, with their lamps, standing round him 
(vii. 222-6, see Mayor's notes). It is, therefore, not strange 
that school should be over one hour before midday. 

In xix. 14 Codex BezcE reads vloX ^Kevd rLvo<^ i€peu)<iy in 

* Many examples of two forms applied to one person are collected 
by Crusius, Jahrh. f. P/iiloL, 1891, p. 385^ Schulze, in Zft. f. 
vgl. Sprachf., 1893, p. 220, quotes Ptolemy Alexandros, or Alexas, 
and the Syrian dynast Zenodoros or Zcnon. 

VIII. Authority for St. Pattl's Journeys. 153 

place of the accepted text ^fceua 'louhahv apx^^p^ft^^ kivra 
viol. The reviser thought it impossible that Sceva should 
have been high-priest,* and xix. 16 seems to imply that 
there were only two sons. Codex Bezce here gives a text 
which is intelligent, consistent, and possible : the accepted 
text is badly expressed, and almost self-contradictory. The 
context makes it clear that Sceva was a Jew, even though 
his nationality is not explicitly stated in Codex Bezce. 

In xix. 28 Codex Bezce adds a detail, which may probably 
be taken as true to fact. Demetrius had gathered the 
craftsmen together and inflamed them by a skilful speech. 
According to the received text, " They shouted out saying, 
Great is Diana of the Ephesians ; and the city was filled 
with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into 
the theatre." The reviser considered that the first meeting 
was held in some house or building, whether private or 
public, and that therefore before they rushed into the 
theatre they must have gone forth into the street. Accord- 
ingly he says, " When they heard [this] they were filled with 
wrath, [and ran into the street,] and kept crying out, saying, 
Great Diana of the Ephesians ; and the whole city was 
thrown into confusion t ; and they rushed, etc." The 
addition increases the individuality and the local colour ; 
and possibly an actual tradition, surviving in Ephesus, 
fixed the house or public stoa where the preliminary 
meeting was held, and the street along which the artisans 
ran invoking the goddess. 

The use of z/ao/co/oof/ {Codex Bezce^ for vecoKopov in xix. 35 
is remarkable : nothing otherwise is known to suggest that 

* The word may mean 'belonging to a high-priestly family.' 

154 '^^' PoLul in Asia Minor, 

this Doric form was used in Ephesus. May we infer that 
the reviser belonged not to Ephesus, but to some Dorian 
colony, such as Tarsus ? (Doric was used in Cilicia, e.g.^ 
in inscriptions of Soloi, and on coins of Mallos.) 

In XX. 4 Codex Bezce reads 'E(j)€o-iOL for 'AaiavoL In 
the case of Trophimus, we know from xxi. 29 that the 
change is accurate, and we need have no hesitation in 
admitting that a local tradition made Tychicus also a 
native of Ephesus; for the references in 2 Tim. iv. 12, Titus 
iii. 12, Col. iv. 7, Eph. vi. 21, are favourable to this view. 
The desire to give due honour to Ephesus in this case 
would favour the idea that the reviser belonged to, or was 
closely connected with, that city. But proofs abound of 
his intimate acquaintance with the topography and cir- 
cumstances of the South-Galatian churches ; and we are 
bound to conclude that close relations and constant inter- 
communication were maintained between the church of 
Ephesus and the churches that lay along the road towards 
South Galatia and Syria. Hence it does not appear safe 
to infer more than that the reviser was intimately ac- 
quainted with that whole group of churches, and jealous 
of their honour.* 

Codex Bezce differs widely from other MSS. in the 
difficult passage, xx. 4, 5, 6. There can be no doubt (i) 
that its text is clear, consecutive, self-consistent ; (2) that it 
gives the proper and necessary sequence of events which 
the text of the other MSS. is intended to describe ; (3) 
that none of the other MSS. give a clear and well-expressed 
version of the facts. The conclusion then is either that 

* Contrast with his desire to give due honour to Ephesus his 
desire to state clearly the fault of Beroea. (See p. 160.) 

VIII. Authority for St. Pmtrs Journeys. 155 

Codex Bezce gives the original text, or that it represents a 
revision made with great skill and success. 

In XX. 15, and xxi. I, two interesting little additions are 
made in the text of Codex Bezce. In the former passage 
Paul is said to have stopped in Trogylia on his voyage 
between Samos and Miletus. In the latter he is said to 
have touched at Myra after leaving Patara on his last 
voyage to Jerusalem. The first of these details is in 
itself highly probable, for the promontory of Trogyllion 
or Trogylia projects far out between Samos and Miletus, 
and the little coasting vessel would naturally touch there, 
perhaps becalmed, or for some other reason.* The second 
detail is also natural and probable in a coasting voyage, 
and geographically accurate. Moreover, the addition of 
Myra seems to have been made before the extant edition 
of the Acta of Paul and Thekla was composed, and a 
general consent exists that that edition was in its main 
outlines composed about A.D. 170 to 190, though personally f 

* It might appear probable that this reading was in the text used 
by St. Willibald, who sailed along the same coast on his pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem about A.D. 754. He visited Ephesus, and walked thence 
to P3'gela ; from Pygela he sailed to Strobolis, and thereafter to 
Patara. The name Strobolis has puzzled the editors (see the edition 
of the HodcE;poricon, § 11, in the "Palestine Pilgrims' Series"), 
who suggest Hierapolis of Phrygia. Strobolis is for (fi)s TpwyuXti/ 
— a form in accordance with a common analogy ; and some cursive 
MSS. of Acts read SrpoyuXio) or "ETpoyyvXiw. Willibald, however, 
would use a Latin Bible, and this word seems not to have penetrated 
into the Latin versions. Even if we do not suppose that Willibald's 
selection of Strobolis and Patara was due to recollection of the 
narrative in Acts, his voyage is at least an apt illustration of 
St. Paul's voyage, as showing that these points are natural halting- 
points for a small coasting vessel. 

t I hope to discuss this interesting work fully elsewhere (v. c. xvi.). 

156 S/. Paul in Asia Minor, 

the present writer is inclined to date soon after 130 the 
enlargement and revision of a much older text of the Acta. 

4. Text of Codex Bezal\ Europe. 

To appreciate the force of these results, let us compare a 
few of the discrepancies between Codex Bezce and the 
received text in the narrative of St. Paul's travels in Europe. 
In xvi. 12, according to the received text, Philippi is the 
"first {i.e. leading) city of its division of Macedonia, a 
colonia" ; but in Codex BezcE it is " the head of Macedonia, 
a city, a colonia."* The latter description is not expressed 
in the proper terms, does not cohere well together, and is 
actually incorrect. The term " first " was commonly 
assumed by towns which were, or claimed to be, chief of a 
district or a province ; and Philippi either boasted, or was 
believed by the reviser to boast, of this distinction ; but he 
is wrong in assigning to it the pre-eminence over the whole 
of Macedonia. Philippi was merely first in one of the 
districts into which Roman Macedonia was divided, but 
not in the whole province. While the received text is right, 
Codex Bezcc shows an alteration made without knowledge 
of the country and its circumstances, and without proper 
comprehension of the text. The reviser, unfamiliar with 
the constitution of the province, understood MafceSoi/ia<; as 
genitive in apposition with yae/5/So?, whereas it is really 
partitive genitive depending on it ; and he was therefore dis- 
satisfied with the term jmeplSo^ as applied to a province. 
He might have substituted province {eiTapx,Lci^) for district 
(/ui€ptSo<;), but he attained the same end by simply omitting 
the latter word, for " Macedonia " and " the province Mace- 

VIII. Authority for St. Pattrs Journeys. 157 

donia " are synonymous. For " first " he substituted the 
term " head," which is technically less accurate.* Now the 
term " first " was familiair to him in the usage of Asia 
Minor.f Why then should he change it for the less accurate 
" head " ? The reason lay in the ambiguity of the phrase, 
which is still a noted difficulty and a cause of disagreement 
among scholars. In order to prevent readers from taking 
the phrase in the sense of " the city nearest in its district and 
which they first reached," the reviser altered the expression, 
and substituted an unmistakable term for a doubtful one. 
In all probability, the person who made this change was 
aware that the interpretation of which he disapproved 
was advocated by some, and desired to eliminate the 
possibility of mistake. Whether he was right in his view 
is even at the present day a matter of controversy ; but 
his attitude towards the passage is clear, and his change is 
instructive as regards the principles on which he treated the 
text of Acts. 

The erroneousness of the reading in Codex Beza^ would be 
still clearer if we accept Tightfoot's view, and understand 
the received text as " the first [/.^., first at which they 

* In this and various other cases Codex BezcE agrees with some 
Syrian texts. I refrain from noticing these agreements, as leading 
too far into textual criticism. The constant intercourse maintained 
along the line Antioch-Iconium-Ephesus would naturally result in a 
close relation between Asia Minor and Syrian texts. 

t It is not known to have been used in Macedonia or Achaia, 
whereas it is frequent in Asia and Cilicia. Smyrna, and Ephesus, 
and Pergamos vied in claiming the tide "first city of Asia,'' 
Nicomedeia and Nicaea that of first of Bithynia, Tarsus and 
Anazarbos that of first of Cilicia, or first of the three provinces 
Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia. Tralles claimed the title " first of the 
Greeks" on a coin published by M. Babelon in Revue Numism.y 
1892, p. 124. 

158 5/. Paul in Asia Minor. 

arrived] in the district, a city of Macedonia, a colony." If 
this was the meaning intended by the writer, then the 
reviser completely misinterpreted the topographical term, 
taking it in the sense that was common in Asia Minor and 
therefore familiar to him * 

Another case in which the reviser has misunderstood the 
text before him occurs in the Corinthian narrative, xviii. 7. 
Paul had " reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath," but 
when the Jews opposed him, " he departed thence, and went 
into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus," etc. 
The meaning is that Paul left the synagogue, and held hie 
meetings for the future at Justus' house. But the reviser 
thought that a change of Paul's residence was described, 
and that he ceased to live with Aquila (xviii. 3), and 

* I do not like Lightfoot's interpretation : I share the reviser's 
objection to /^tfpts- in the sense of province. It is most natural that 
there should be subdivisions of the large province Macedonia, and 
this passage may be taken as a proof that there were. Even if the 
original division into four was obsolete (which I cannot agree with 
Lightfoot in thinking that Leake has proved, Northern Greece^ III., 
p. 487), another division was very likely to come into use. Still less 
acceptable is Dr. Hort's remedy. He maintains that \i.fpi^ was not 
used in the sense of " division of a province," and proposes to alter 
the text to 7rpa>TT} tj}? Uiepldos. But nepls is, in Egypt at least, a 
technical term in the sense of " subdivision of a large district, or 
nome, or province." For example, the title of one of the two 
Strategoi of the Arsinoitic Nome was o-TpaTrjyos ttjs 'Hpn/cXei'Sou 
fieptSoy (see Wilcken as quoted in Berlin Sitzungsberichte, 1892, 
p. 815). I would accept the phrase of the Travel-Document as an 
addition to our knowledge of Macedonia, and infer that (i) in the 
first century the province was sub- divided into /xtpi'Se? : (2) Philippi 
was the capital of a /Mepi's- : (3) the phrase in Acts shows local 
knowledge : (4) the thought is Pauline, for Paul here and always 
presses on to the chief centre of civilisation, and the writer em- 
phasises this principle (also Wilcken, //<?r/;2^j-. 1893, pp. 233,236, 240). 

VIIL Aufhority for St. PaiiVs Joitrneys. 159 

migrated to the house of Justus. Accordingly, to make the 
meaning quite clear, he remodelled the words, and wrote, 
" departing from Aquila's, he went into the house of a 
certain man named Justus."* 

In the European narrative, also, we find several places In 
which the received text contains short passages wanting in 
Codex Bezce : in xvii. 34 a " woman named Damaris " is 
not in the Codex \\ in xviii. 3 it omits "for by their trade 
they were tent-makers " (may we presume that this fact had 
p2rished from the Asian tradition ? Paul worked with his 
hands in Ephesus, but the trade is not stated, xx. 34) ; and 
in xvii. 18 it omits "because he preached Jesus and 
the resurrection." The last omission is contrary to the 
usual practice in this Codex^ which generally lengthens and 
emphasises the allusions to teaching.^ There is certainly 
nothing in the teaching described which would be thought 
unsuitable in the Asian churches; in fact, an Asian document, 
which is commonly attributed to the second century — the 
Acta of Paul and Thekla (see pp. 155-6) — insists on this 
character in St. Paul's teaching. 

Where anything is added in the European part of the 
narrative to the text of Codex BezcE, it is either easily 
gathered from the context (as in xviii. 2, xvi. 35, 39, 40), 
or it further emphasises the character of Paul's preaching 
(xviii. 4), or the intervention of supernatural guidance in 
his course (xvii. 15). 

In a few cases the insertion is of more complicated type : 
e.g.y in xvii. 15 Codex BezcE adds, " And he passed by Thes- 

* n(Taj3as drro tov 'AkuXo, clarjXdev, k.t.X. 
t On this point see below, viii., § 5. 
I B.g., xviii. 4. 

i6o S^. Paul in Asia Minor, 

salia, for he was prevented from preaching the word unto 
them." The reviser is struck with the fact that Paul 
omits Thessaly ; he recollects that on his second journey Paul 
passed by Phrygia and Mysia without preaching there, and 
he applies the same explanation to this case. He did not 
observe that in this case Paul probably sailed direct from 
the coast of Macedonia to Athens. In none of these 
additions to the language is anything really added to the 
general sense of the passage, with the single exception of 
xvi. 30, where the added sense is of very dubious value. 
The jailer at Philippi, " trembling for fear, fell down at the 
feet of Paul and Silas, and brought them out [after having 
secured the other prisoners], and said, * Sirs, what must I 
do to be saved ? ' " The clause in brackets, which is added 
in Codex Bezce, has an almost comic effect. The jailer 
carefully looked to his immediate interests before he 
attended to his future salvation. 

It is perhaps a trait not without significance that Codex 
Bezce is decidedly less favourable to the Beroeans than the 
received text : it says (xvii. 12), "Some of them therefore 
believed, and some disbelieved." Considering the mutual 
jealousy between Greeks of different districts which has 
characterised their history alike in ancient times and at the 
present day, we may here perhaps see that a native of Asia 
seizes the opportunity of emphasising the fact that some 
disbelieved, whereas the received text merely says that 
" many of them believed." In the latter part of the same 
verse Codex BezcB loses a distinctly individual trait, charac- 
teristic of Macedonia,* viz., the prominent part played by 
the women. It reads, *' And of the Greeks and of those of 

♦ See Lightfoot's note in his Philip., p. 55, ed. I. 

VIII. Authority for St. Pattls Jotirneys. 1 6 1 

honourable estate, men and women in considerable numbers 
believed," instead of " Also of the Greek women of honour- 
able estate, and of men, not a few." 

5. Codex -Bezm founded on a Catholic 


The omission of Damaris in Codex Bezce (xvii. 34) is 
specially remarkable. There seems no doubt that this 
omission is deliberate and intentional. The word evGyfuiwVy 
which occurs here in Codex Bezce {Aiovvcrio'^ [t^?] ^Apeo'7ra'^iT7]<; 
\^ev(T')(rjfxwv\ fcal erepoc), seems to be appropriated to women 
in Acts (compare xvii. 12, xiii. 50) ; and its use is the last 
remaining trace of the vanished Damaris. The process of 
change seems to have been that the word eva'x^rj/jLwv was 
added as a gloss to her name under the influence of xiii. 50, 
xvii. 12; and then her name was cut out, and the gloss 
remained in a wrong place in the text.* 

In the first place the question occurs, why Damaris was 
cut out. The omission may be compared with the change 
in the second part of xvii. 12. The reason for both changes 
is the same : they are due to dislike to the prominence 
assigned to women in the accepted text. 

Now the prominence of women is, as we have seen, a 
characteristic of the social system of Asia Minor. This 
feature in Codex Bezce might therefore seem to be out of 
keeping with our theory that it is founded on a revision made 
in that country. But the prominence assigned to women 
was, firstly, pagan rather than Christian, and secondly, 
heretical rather than Catholic. It was characteristic of the 

* This explanation is founded on suggestions of Mr. Armitage 


1 62 SL Paul in Asia Minor, 

less advanced and less civilised parts of the country : it 
lingered longest in villages and small towns in remote and 
mountainous districts ; it was extirpated or reduced to a 
mere honorary position at an early period in the more 
advanced cities, under the influence of the Grasco-Roman 
civilisation. Now it was precisely in the educated parts of 
the country that Christianity first spread. Thus in the 
second century the situation was produced that the more 
advanced districts were Christian, while the uncivilised 
districts retained their paganism and their old mutterrecht^ 
even reckoning descent through the mother.* 

Further, it is pointed out in chaps, xx. and xxi. that 
various developments of religious feeling, which arose in 
Asia Minor, were penetrated by the native tone and spirit 
of the country, and, in particular, were characterised by 
prominent position and influence of women. In opposition 
to these provincial types, the Universal and Catholic type 
of Christianity became confirmed in its dislike of the pro- 
minence and the public ministration of women. The dislike 
became abhorrence, and there is every probability that the 
dislike is as old as the first century, and was intensified 
to abhorrence before the middle of the second century. 

Under the influence of this feeling the changes in Acts 
xvii. 12 and 34 arose in Catholic circles in Asia Minor. 

6. Relation of Codex Bezm to Asia Minor. 

The explanation just given of the change in xvii. 34 
implies that some at least of the alterations in Codex Bezce 

* Epigraphic proof iji the case of Dalisandos, a small town of 
Isauria, will be found in a forthcoming paper by my friend Mr. 
Headlam, in the special issue of the Journal of Hellenic Studies^ 

VIIL Authority for St. Paurs Jom^neys. 163 

arose through a gradual process, and not through the action 
of an individual reviser. Possibly all the changes which 
have been discussed in the preceding pages may have 
arisen in this way. But some of them are perhaps more 
naturally explained as the work of a single individual, 
whom I shall speak of as the reviser. 

The freedom with which the reviser treated the text 
proves that he was a person of some position and authority. 
The care that he took to suit the text to the facts of the 
day proves that he desired to make it intelligible to the 
public. The knowledge that he shows of the topography 
and the facts of Asia and of South Galatia proves that he 
was intimately acquainted with the churches from Ephesus 
on the west, to Iconium and Lystra on the east ; and the 
felicity with which he treats the text, in all that relates to 
Asia, seems to be due to his perfect familiarity with the 
country, for it deserts him when he tries to apply the same 
treatment to the European narrative. He shows a certain 
desire to give Ephesus all due glory, and to deny to Bercta 
any glory that she is not fully entitled to, which proves 
his Asian bias. He seems to have known certain traditions 
still surviving in the churches of Asia and South Galatia, 
whereas none of his changes imply knowledge of any 
tradition relating to Achaia or Macedonia. 

He belonged to the second century, for he alters first 
century forms and facts to suit those of later time (xiii. 14, 
xiv. 19). But his knowledge was gained before Lycaonia 
was disjoined from Galatia between 138 and 161 A.D. As 
he altered the text freely in order to make it clear to 
contemporary readers, he would certainly have altered the 
phrase " the Galatic country," if he had lived so long after 
the change introduced into the constitution of Galatia and 

164 Sf. Pa7il in Asia Minor. 

Lycaonia as to have realised the effect upon the nomen- 
clature. It is conceivable that, if he was living in Asia, he 
might not for some years realise that what he had once 
been familiar with as the Galatian district could no longer 
be called so, and that the old phrase was rapidly becoming 
unintelligible. But even if we allow for this possibility, the 
revision can hardly be dated later than A.D. 150-160. 

The reviser treated his text with great freedom. He 
therefore cannot have had any superstitious reverence foi 
the mere letter. His aim was to make it clear and com- 
plete ; and for the latter purpose he added some touches 
where surviving tradition seemed to contain trustworthy 
additional particulars. Apart from a few cases in which 
he perhaps had before him a better text than any other 
MS. has preserved, the value of the reviser's work lies 
in his presentation of the interpretation put upon Acts in 
the schools and churches of Asia Minor during the first 
half of the second century. The book existed then as a 
whole, and was studied as a work of antiquity, which needed 
interpretation and modernisation in order to make it readily 
intelligible. The process of modernising was performed 
with skill ; it was applied to many passages in which the 
received text presented real difficulty, and to a few where 
the received text still defies interpretation. In several 
cases, chiefly relating to Asia Minor, it produced a text 
which is really smoother and clearer in expression without 
actual change of sense ; but in some cases, relating to a 
foreign country, it was guided by ignorance, and misrepre- 
sented and constructed a radically false text. 

We can imagine what would have been the result if this 
process of modernisation had been applied systematically 
for centuries. The introduction of surviving tradition about 

VI 11. AiUJiority for St. Paul's Journeys. 165 

matters of fact (as, for example, the hours when St. Paul 
taught in Ephcsus) is not so dangerous, and is sometimes 
interesting. But the reviser considered himself equally 
justified in making additions warranted by the doctrinal 
tradition current in the Asian churches, and shows a distinct 
tendency to exaggerate the Divine guidance given to Paul, 
and to specify more precisely than was done in the text 
the character of his teaching. We cannot doubt that, in 
all his changes, the reviser was guided by the general con- 
sensus of opinion in the churches of Asia, and not by his 
mere individual opinion. But the results, even of this first 
revision, are, as a whole, very serious, and, if the process 
had been performed a second time a century later, would 
certainly have been ruinous to the character of the text. 
In another place I shall try to show what was the effect 
of such a continued process of revision in the case of a 
work which was (as I believe) composed in the first century, 
and revised after the middle of the second century, which 
was extraordinarily popular in Asia Minor, but which was 
never protected by the reverence that attached in ever- 
growing degree to the books recognised in course of time as 
canonical and venerated from the beginning (Chap. XVI.). 
In the preceding pages I have refrained, naturally and 
necessarily, from entering on the strictly textual criticism 
of Codex Bezce. [Mr. Chase, in his valuable Syriac Element 
in Codex Bezce, blames this restraint in my treatment. But 
it is a quite fair procedure to prove that certain readings 
show accurate local and antiquarian knowledge, and refrain 
from further incursion into a vast subject. I might, perhaps, 
criticise Mr. Chase's incompleteness ; for, while offering 
a theory of the Bezan text of Acts, he touches on hardly 
any of the readings which seem to me most important.] 

1 66 S^. Paul in Asia Minor, 


After the preceding chapters were printed, I became 
acquainted with Spitta's work, die Apostelgeschichte : ihre 
Quelien u?id deren gescJiicJitlicJier We7't (Halle), 1891. His 
method seems to me excellent ; but, even if I had known 
the book sooner, I should have adhered to the plan of 
founding all arguments on the received text. Spitta dis- 
tinguishes in Acts three hands — viz., a Redactor, R, of two 
documents, A and B. A is of very early date, and of the 
highest historical value. B is not quite so early, and of 
lower value historically. R, who wrote during the first 
century, worked them into a single document, making A 
his foundation, and incorporating in it great part of B : 
he prefixed the introductory verses i. 1-3, and wrote 
junctions between the parts of B and A. 

The distinction in the usage of geographical names, 
which I have pointed out, Chap. VHI., § 2, corresponds to 
Spitta's distinction of documents A and B. A uses names 
in the Roman sense, B in the popular or Greek sense. The 
second part of xix. 10 must be assigned to the editor, who 
fused A and B (he is called R by Spitta) : the name Asia 
is used there in the Roman sense. In xix. 26, 27, Asia is 
used in the popular or Greek sense ; but as it is there 
spoken by the artisan Demetrius, we cannot quote this as 
a proof of the character of B.* It is remarkable how rarely 
the names of districts in Asia Minor occur in B. 

The usage of the participle, which is alluded to above, 
p. 52, seems to belong to R : Spitta's division makes this 
necessary in some cases, and easy in all. 

* Hence I did not mention it in Chan, VIII., § 2. 

VIII. Authority for St. Paul's Journeys. 167 

Almost every case in which, according to our arguments, 
Codex Bezce presents a reading superior in individuality 
and accuracy to the accepted text, belongs to B. This 
is remarkable, and confirms Spitta's view that B is inferior 
in value to A : it would favour the view that a text, in 
which the accuracy of some details relating to Asia Minor 
had been lost, was deliberately improved in all these cases. 
But as I have already pointed out, every instance in which 
we have to attribute to a reviser of the second century such 
marked improvements in point of individuality and local 
colour as those in xiv. 13, xix. 28, constitutes a strong 
proof of my theory that the reviser whose work has been 
used in the text of Codex BezcB was intimately acquainted 
with Asia Minor* 

The passage in A, which I have found deficient in 
clearness, occurs at a junction with B ; and the obscurity 
is probably due to some mutilation of the text (cp. p. 53, 
and Spitta, p. 171). 

I now feel even more confident than before, that 
Acts xiii.-xxi. is an authority of the highest character 
for the historian of Asia Minor. Formerly I looked on it 
with much suspicion, and refrained entirely, in my Historical 
Geography, from founding an argument on it. Now I have 
learned that those points which roused suspicion were 
perfectly true to the first century, but were misjudged by 
me, because I contemplated them under the influence of 
prepossessions derived from the facts of the second 

* I was very glad to learn from a most generous and kind reviewer 
in the Guardian, May 1893, p. 796, that my theory was unconsciously 
a repetition of the view already suggested by Bishop Lightfoot in 
the new edition of the Dictio7iary of the Bible. 

i68 S^. Paul in Asia Minor. 

Note. — It is convenient to state the chronological scheme (even 
though only in rough approximation) suggested by the whole argu- 
ment. The second visit to Jerusalem took place fourteen years after 
the conversion, and shortly before the first missionary journey. I 
assume that Paul was from that time onwards possessed with the 
idea that his work lay towards the west (Acts xv. 38 ; Gal. passim ; 
p. 60) ; and no long interval is likely to have occurred in his work. 

Conversion A.D. 31 

First visit to Jerusalem t^t^ 

Second visit to Jerusalem .... Spring 44 

■ First journey . . . . April 45 — July 47 (or 46-48) 

Third visit to Jerusalem (p. 74/^) . . Spring 49 (or 50) 

Second journey begun Spring 51 

In Corinth Autumn 32 — Spring 54 

Gallio proconsul of Achaia . . April 53 — April 54 

Fourth visit to Jerusalem Spring 54 

In Antioch (wrote to Galatians) .... 54-55 

Began third journey Spring 55 

In Ephesus . . . Late summer 55 — autumn 57 
Visit to Macedonia and Greece . . .Winter 57-58 

Returns to Jerusalem Spring 58 

Voyage to Rome Winter 60-61 

The events recorded in Gal. ii. were a critical point. Hence- 
forward, when Paul's ideas had free scope, the new religion spread 
with astonishing rapidity ; before that time, bound to a local centre, 
it could not spread fast. 

This table is not given as an ex cathedra settlement of so difficult 
a problem. It puts in clear, sharp outline the results to which the 
reasoning of the preceding pages seems to point ; and it is intended 
to facilitate criticism and correction of those pages. 



PART IL— A.D. 64-170: BEING 


MAY AND JUNE, 1892. 

1 5 




AN apology is due for my boldness in venturing to 
address such an audience on so difficult and so 
vexed a subject. But I may almost claim that the topic 
had been chosen for me by those who had for a time the 
right to direct my studies. In the task of exploration in 
Asia Minor the subject was forced on me : unless a large 
part of my materials and a large part of the history 
of the country were handed over to others, this subject 
must engage a great deal of my attention. If there had 
been at first some one in the circle of my own friends 
ready to take over my materials and to work them up, 
as there are still many who could do so with fuller know- 
ledge than I possess, I should not be placed in the difficult 
position that I now occupy. Every word that I have to 
say springs ultimately from the desire to do as well as I 
could the work assigned to me in Asia Minor. 

How closely the subject on which I venture to speak is 
involved in the investigation of the history of Asia Minor 
may be shown in a single sentence. Asia Minor, and 
especially the province of Asia, was during the century 
following A.D, 70, to use the words of Bishop Lightfoot,* 
'* the spiritual centre of Christianity." There the new 
religion spread most rapidly and affected the largest 

* Ignatius and Polycar^, I., p. 424. 


172 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

proportion of the whole population ; the conduct of the 
Asian communities during that period, their relations with 
the imperial government, with their pagan neighbours, and 
with other Christian communities, gave to a considerable 
extent the tone to the development and organisation of 
their Church. To discuss the relation of the Asian com- 
munities to the Empire is practically to discuss the relation 
of the Church to the Empire. This page of history must 
be written as a whole. 

I. Aspect of History here Treated. 

The subject before us has many sides, of which one 
alone will here concern us. These lectures are historical, 
not theological. It is to a page in the history of society 
that I ask your attention, and not to a theory of the 
development of religious organisation, or doctrine, or ritual. 

I want to take Church history for the moment out of the 
theological domain, and to look at it from another point 
of view. When it is treated by writers whose interests are 
either theological or anti-theological, there is generally a 
tendency to treat controversies between sects, and struggles 
between opposing churches, too much as a matter of reli- 
gious dogma. The diversities of opinion on points of doc- 
trine, often sufficiently minute points, are related in great 
detail, by the theologians with the interest of love, by the 
anti-theologians with the interest of ridicule. But, to take 
an example from my own country, the historian of Scotland 
who described the differences of doctrine, often barely 
discernible by the naked eye, between our innumerable 
sects, and left the reader to infer that these were the sole, 
or even the chief, causes of division between the sects, 

IX. Subject and Method. 173 

would give a very inadequate picture of the facts. He 
must also describe and explain many social and political 
differences ; e.g.^ he must not leave his readers ignorant of 
the fact that one church as a body took one political side, 
another as a body took the opposite side. 

So in earlier Church history, it has often been the case 
that differences of race or manners were the cause of 
division between churches and sects, and slight differences 
of doctrine or ritual were merely badges on the banners 
of armies already arrayed against each other. I do not 
maintain that this is the whole matter, nor even that it is 
the chief matter ; but I do say that it is a side that deserves 
and will reward study, and that it does not always receive 
its fair share of attention. The schism between the Latin 
and Greek Churches in the ninth century, the schisms 
between the Greek and the Armenian and other Eastern 
Churches, are examples of religious movements which were 
even more important in their political than their theological 

2. Connexion between Church History and the 

Life of the Period. 

I do not think that in this work I am venturing away 
from my proper subject — viz., the study of the charac- 
ter and life of the Roman Empire, especially in the eastern 
provinces. It is possible to set too narrow bounds to the 
study of Roman life ; and any bounds are too narrow 
which exclude from that study what is probably its most 
important problem — viz., its relations to the system of belief, 
morality, and society which, beginning in the eastern 
provinces, gradually spread over the whole Empire. 

It must be confessed that this opinion as to the close 

174 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

connexion between Church history and the general history 
of the time is not generally held. They are generally 
considered to be unconnected with each other, and to 
belong to different fields of study. There has existed, 
and perhaps still exists, a widespread opinion that 
Christian writings (like Byzantine history) lie beyond the 
pale of what is called humane letters, and that the classi- 
cal scholar has nothing to do with them. We are all 
only too prone to bound the realm of humane letters by 
the limits of our individual interests. Is it still necessary 
to plead that a classical scholar may justifiably spend 
some part of his time in reading such authors as Cyprian 
or Tertullian, as interpreters of the society in which they 
lived, or such authors as Basil of Caesareia or Gregory of 
Nazianzos, as aids in understanding the history of Roman 
Cappadocia? In becoming Christians, these writers did 
not cease to be men : they only gained that element of 
thoroughness, sincerity, and enthusiasm, the want of which 
is so unpleasant in later classical literature ; and if they 
directed these qualities into different channels from those 
which are most natural now, every such direction of our 
common human nature must be studied and explained by 
the circumstances of its time. History only deepens in 
intensity and interest as we pass from the classical and 
come down towards the present time. The only reason 
why it sometimes appears less interesting is that the strands 
of life become more numerous as time goes on, and the 
effort to comprehend them separately, and bring them 
together in the mind to form the complicated thread of 
human history, grows more serious. 

There are many interests of the most fascinating kind in 
the history of the Roman empire, when we turn away from 

IX, Subject and Method. 175 

the battles and sieges, the murders and suicides, the crimes 
of one emperor and the lofty character of another — in 
short, from all the great things of history. The machinery 
by which for the first time in hutnan history there was 
constructed a great and stable empire, more permanent 
than the strong arm of the despot who held it together ; 
the remarkable system by which such a splendid series 
of provincial administrators was produced and trained, 
administrators of whom one of the greatest scholars Cam- 
bridge ever sent forth — a scholar whom we all grudge to 
the politics that absorb him — says that we can find among 
them examples occasionally of cruelty, occasionally of 
rapacity, but never of incompetence * : that magnificent 
system is a fascinating study, but it is inferior in human 
interest to the study of social phenomena. The widest 
democracy of ancient times was a narrow oligarchy in com- 
parison with our modern states. But the ideas which have ! 
realised themselves among us as the rights of the poorest 
and lowest classes were at work under the Roman empire ; 
and the central point in the study of Roman imperial 
society is the conflict of the new religion with the old. By 
a study of Roman imperial society, I do not, of course, mean 
superficial talk about Juvenal and the society he describes. 
What Juvenal considered to be society was merely the 
slowly dying governing caste of earlier Rome, the nobles 
who had conquered the world, who had long maintained 
their pre-eminence by absorbing into their number every 
person of vigour and power enough to raise him above the 
level of the lower class, but who at last paid the penalty 
that every privileged class seems always to pay, in cor- 

* Waddington, " Pastes des Provinces Asiatiques," p. i8. 

176 The CJmrch in the Ro7nan Empire, 

ruption and gradual death. Tacitus and Juvenal paint 
the deathbed of pagan Rome ; they have no eyes to see 
the growth of new Rome, with its universal citizenship, 
its universal Church (first of the Emperors, afterwards of 
Christ), its " alimentations," its care for the orphan and 
the foundling, its recognition of the duty of the State to 
see that every one of its members is fed. The Empire out- 
raged the old republican tradition, that the provincial was 
naturally inferior to the Roman ; * but this, which was its 
greatest crime in the eyes of Tacitus, is precisely what 
constitutes its importance in the history of the world. 
What we are in search of is the historian who will show us 
the state of things beyond the exclusive circle of aristocratic 
society, among the working classes and the thinking classes ; 
who will discuss the relation between the Christian and 
his next-door neighbour who sacrificed to Rome and the 
emperor, and amused himself with the pageantry of Jupiter 
and Artemis. I want to be shown what the middle classes 
of the community were doing, and still more what they 
were thinking. I care little for the university scholar who 
immured himself in the university, and dabbled in elegant 
literature and gave showy lectures ; but I want to see the 
man of high university training who went out to move 
the world. I get little for my purpose among the pagan 
writers ; and I must go to the Christian writers, whom I 
find full of social enthusiasm, though expressed in strange 

* On Horace's protest against this tendency of the Empire, of 
which he was vaguely conscious, see Mommsen's speech to the Berlin 
Academy on the anniversary of the two emperors, Frederick and 
William II., in Berlin Sttzungsber., January 24th, 1889. Horace, 
though an adherent of Octavian, never really abandoned his old 
republican view ; he admired Augustus as the restorer of old Rome, 
not as the maker of new Rome. 

IX. Stcbject and Method. 177 

and to me sometimes repellent forms. They weary me 
sometimes with doctrine, when I want humanity ; but 
beneath their doctrine the man appears, and when they 
condescend to the affairs of the world, they are instinct 
with human feeling. The greatest of them often reach 
the level of thought where doctrine and life are fused as 
two aspects of the same thing. 

Placed amid the uncongenial society of the Roman 
Empire, the Christian Church found itself necessarily 
in opposition to some parts of the Roman law and custom ; 
negatively it refused to comply with them, positively it 
even enacted laws for itself which were in flat contradic- 
tion to the national laws (as when Callistus, Bishop of 
Rome, ordered about 220 A.D. that certain marriages should 
be legal, though the state considered them illegal). The | 
Church was a party of reform and of opposition to the ' 
government policy, carried sometimes to the verge of. 
revolutionary movement. Notable differences are found 
in this respect between the teaching of different periods 
and different individuals. The question as to the point 
where disobedience to the imperial law became justifiable, 
or as to how far the Imperial Government was right in 
trying to compel obedience and to maintaiii order, is 
a very difficult one. The usual answer, that he who 
thinks as I think is right in disobeying, he who thinks 
otherwise is wrong, is completely satisfactory to few. We 
attempt to approach the question from the imperial point 
of view, and to follow where the evidence leads us. 

3. The Authorities : Date. 

What then is the evidence ? The answer to this question 
is of primary importance in a subject where the date, the 


178 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

authorship, and the trustworthiness of many of the ancient 
authorities are all matters of dispute. A few words on 
these points are necessary as a preliminary. The criticism 
applied to one class of our authorities — viz., the writings 
that give (or profess to give) the views of the Christians — 
has been strict and severe ; it is very important that they 
should have been subjected to this minute examination, 
conducted with the learning, acuteness, and ingenuity 
which belong to German scholarship. But it is unfortu- 
nate that some scholars should so habituate themselves 
to this point of view as to become incapable of taking 
a wider historical survey of the situation as a whole. 

There are some documents whose falseness to the period 
to which they profess to belong has been clearly demon- 
strated. All such documents have certain well-marked 
characteristics. Some purpose or intention of the writer 
is obvious in them ; and above all, nothing, or next to 
nothing, for the historian's purpose can be inferred from 
them. They have no reality or life beneath the surface ; 
or, to put it in another way, they have no background 
on which, by closer inspection and minuter study, other 
facts and figures can be seen to live and move. They 
attest some single fact in view of which they were com- 
posed ; but they give no further evidence to aid the 
historian. The personages are mere lay figures : they 
have lived no life ; they have no past and no historical 
surroundings. But there is another class of documents, 
whose spuriousness would cause a serious loss to the 
historian. Such documents suggest a real story under- 
lying the superficial facts : the characters are living men, 
whose real experiences in the world have caused the facts 
which appear on the sm-facc ; and from these facts wc can 

IX. Subject and Method. 179 

work back to their past experiences, their surroundings, 
the world in which they moved. I know no case in which 
it has been demonstrated that such a document is spurious. 

It is quite true that there are many grave and serious 
difficulties in documents of this type ; but such difficulties 
occur in all historical documents. The historian has to 
accept them, though often he fails entirely to solve them. 
Not a year passes, hardly a month passes, in which the 
solution of some puzzle in classical antiquities is not 
attained through the discovery of new evidence ; and each 
difficulty solved marks an advance in our knowledge and 
an increase in our powers. But many of them remain for 
the future to solve ; with our present resources they must 
be accepted. These difficulties often take the form of 
apparent contradictions between authorities. It is a cheap 
solution to bring down the date of one authority by a 
century ; but historians have found that this method of 
explanation raises far more difficulties than it solves, and 
it has been practically abandoned in almost all branches 
of history. In them the rule is for the critic to test the 
genuineness of documents so far as possible apart from his 
own theories on disputed points, and frame the theory on 
the basis of the documents. 

For example, Juvenal and Martial were contemporaries 
and acquaintances ; but it is very hard to reconcile and 
to work into a consistent picture their allusions to the 
habits and manners of upper-class Roman society in 
reference to the formal visits of courtesy and the presents 
given by the host to his visitors {salutatio and sportuld). 
Even if we take into account the slight difference of time, 
Martial's writings being published at intervals from ^6 
to loi A.D., whereas Juvenal's first book (the one chiefly 

i8o The Chtirch in the Roman Empire. 

in question) was published about 103 to 105, no theory 
of development that can be considered satisfactory has 
yet been offered. Moreover, Juvenal expressly claims to 
be describing the manners of the reign of Domitian, 81 
to 96, and to avoid as dangerous all references to the 
age of Trajan, in which he was writing. The attempt 
to solve this contradiction by bringing down the date 
of either authority a half-century or a whole century or 
more would only arouse ridicule ; it certainly would not 
be thought worth serious refutation. 

In one branch of history alone do we find still in full 
vigour, unaffected by sounder methods of inquiry, the 
superficial and uncritical way of getting rid of such diffi- 
culties by tampering with the date of documents and 
moving them about like pieces on a chessboard. Oddly 
enough, it is among those to whom the name of critics 
has been specially applied that this uncritical method is 
still practised, after it has passed out of credit in all other 
departments of inquiry. Many consequences of an un- 
expected kind have resulted indirectly from the practice 
of this method. For example, it is now generally acknow- 
ledged that the tendency of the Tubingen school of criticism 
was to date the documents and the facts of early Christian 
history decidedly too late, and most recent critics have 
carried back the documents to an earlier date. But the 
question latent in their minds seems always to take the 
form, " How far back does clear and irrefragable evidence 
compel us to carry the documents?" They seem to start 
with the presumption of a late date in their minds, and 
thus always to have a certain bias, which hinders them 
from attaining the purely historical point of view. Evidence 
which formerly was weighed under the bias of a dominaiit 

IX, Stibject and Method. i8i 

theory seems to retain, even amoni^ those who have 
gradually come to abandon that theory, part of the weight 
derived from it. It is, as I believe, due to this bias that 
some German scholars are now gradually settling down to 
an agreement in dating a number of important documents 
about midway between the traditional date and the date 
assigned by the earlier Tubingen school. 

To quote another example, similar in character, Neu- 
mann * has realised clearly and argued convincingly that 
the interpretation of Pliny's letter about the Christians 
which was almost universal in Germany is wrong, and 
that the letter marks not the beginning, but a stage in the 
further course of persecution. Yet certain theories f of 
the growth of church organisation retain their hold on him, 
although they were elaborated by a long series of investi- 
gators, who were biassed in their judgment by the misinter- 
pretation of that cardinal document, which Neumann has 
more correctly estimated. He assumes the conclusions, 
after having overthrown one of the premises. 

* It is impossible to avoid frequent references to Neumann's ad- 
mirable work on "The Roman State and the Universal Church " 
(Part I, Leipzig, 1890). It is an excellent collection of materials: 
much of what he says I agree with, and shall as far as possible 
avoid repeating ; but his general view of the subject differs greatly 
from mine. As the book is widely known, I shall mention also 
some details in which his interpretation of the ancient authorities 
differs from that which is assumed in this book. 

t These theories have affected his view throughout. The heroic 
dogmatism of his reference on p. 57 to the letter of Ignatius to the 
Smyrneeans is a fair example : if the word " universal " (KadoXiKfj), 
appHed to the Church, occurs in it, the author cannot be Ignatius 
of Antioch. Where proof is defective, Neumann has not risen 
superior to the method of supplying the defect by increased boldness 
in assertion. 

1 82 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

With the question of date, that of authorship is to a 
certain extent bound up ; so far as it is a separate question, 
it hardly concerns our purpose. For example, the question 
whether the Epistles attributed to St. John were written 
by the Apostle will not practically affect the historian's 
estimate of their value, if once he is convinced that they 
are first-century productions. 

4. The Authorities : Trustworthiness. 

With regard to the trustworthiness of the documents, 
some words also are needed. We have now for ever 
passed beyond that stage of historical investigation which 
consisted in comparing the statements of Christian docu- 
ments with the Roman writers, and condemning the 
former in every point where they differed from the 
authoritative standard of the latter. We have now recog- 
nised, once and for all, that the value of the Christian 
documents for the historian lies in their difference from 
the Roman writers at least as much as in their agreement ; 
that a contrast between the version of the same facts given 
by these two classes of documents was inseparable from 
their differing points of view, and, so far from disproving, 
is really the necessary condition for our admitting, the 
authenticity of the Christian documents. If they agreed, 
they would lose their value as historical authorities, and 
they could not possibly be genuine works of the period to 
which they claim to belong. 

In truth we are fortunate, amid the dearth of documentary 
evidence as to the actual facts of history in the period 
50-170, to have so many presentations of the general tone 
of feeling and thoucjht from very different points of view. 

IX. Subject and Method. iSj 

In the Roman writers of the period of history in which 
our subject Hes, we have in general the view of the 
opposition to the imperial rule ; even some writers who 
nominally take the side of the government are so hope- 
lessly hedged in by the prejudices of the past, so dominated 
by the glories of republican Rome, so incapable of ap- 
preciating the higher elements of the imperial rule, so 
opposed in heart to those higher elements if they had 
understood them, that they present themselves as mere 
apologists of a rule with which they at heart are not in 
sympathy, and are really the most telling witnesses 
against the system which they believe themselves to be 
defending and extolling. 

Few authors are more full of interest than the Roman 
writers of this period. Historical literature has never 
found a subject more full of picturesque and striking 
incidents, of strong lights and deep shadows, of vivid 
contrast of individual characters, of enormous vices and 
of great virtues in the dramatis personce. Few writers 
also have shown greater power of telling their story in 
the way best suited to heighten its effect. No writer 
has surpassed, hardly any has equalled, Tacitus in power 
of adding effect to a narrative by the manner in which the 
incidents are grouped and the action described. What- 
ever faults a purist may find with the style of the period, 
its practical effect as a literary instrument can with 
difficulty be paralleled in the whole range of literature. 
But their historical view is far from wide. It would not 
be easy to find a period in which literature was so en- 
tirely blind to the great movements that were going on 
around it. The Romans were destitute of the historical 
faculty, and of scientific insight or interest : they could 

184 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

make history, but they could not wVlte it. The early 
emperors are remarkable figures in themselves, and still 
more remarkable as they are presented to us by Tacitus 
and Suetonius ; and their individual influence and im- 
portance were of course great. But the permanent 
Imperial policy was distinct from them and greater 
than they were, and offers a more serious problem for 
, the modern historian of the Roman empire. We must 
determine what was the policy in reference to the pro- 
sperity and education of the population, the development 
of jurisprudence, the organised machinery of government, 
the training of the officials, the alimentary foundations 
for poor children, the attempts' to cope with great social 
, problems (such as the formally admitted duty of the 
State to feed its pauper population), the spreading of 
equal rights and equal citizenship over the whole civilised 
world, the making of a state religion to guarantee that 

On such things as these depends our estimate of the 
Roman Imperial system ; and on such points the Roman 
writers are practically silent. Among them we find 
philosophers who aired their rhetoric, rhetoricians who 
dabbled in moral philosophy, at best pessimists who dis- 
believed in the present and in the future of the Empire, 
who made heroes of Cato with his pedantry, of Brutus 
with his affectation, and Cicero with his superficiality, 
but who despaired entirely of the possibility of restoring 
their golden age. The historians are so occupied with 
'» the great events of history, the satirists so busy with the 
vices of upper-class society, the moralists with abstract 
theorising, the poets with Greek mythology and with the 
maintenance of their footing in the atria of the rich and 

IX. S7tbject and Method. 185 

the favour of the Emperor and his frecdmcn, that they have 
neither time to write about the aims of imperial poHcy nor 
eyes to see them ; and we gather only indirectly from 
them some information which we can interpret by other 
authorities. Here we must trust to our second class of 
authorities, the inscriptions and the laws. 

Lastly, we have the view taken by the adherents of that 
new religion which grew up within the Empire, formed 
itself in a great and powerful organisation, and finally 
took into itself the Imperial Government, its policy, and 
its laws. As to them, we might with little exaggeration 
say in one sweeping sentence that, when we find any 
person who sets himself to do something with energy for 
the improvement of society, he is either an Emperor or 
a Christian. 

5. Results of Separating Cfiurch History from 

Imperial History. 

It is safe to say that this last class of authorities has 
not yet been used so fully as it might be by the modern 
historians of the Empire, partly, indeed, from doubts with 
regard to the authenticity and value of the documents, but 
partly also from preoccupation with the other two classes 
of authorities. But if classical scholars have more to learn 
from the Christian writers than has been generally recog- 
nised, theologians also have something to learn from the 
evidence of classical history. The wide and accurate know- 
ledge, and the grasp of the facts of Roman life, shown by 
the late Bishop Lightfoot and some other scholars whom 
I need not name, must not blind us to the comparative 
rarity of such depth of treatment as theirs. 

t86 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

In particular, I feel bound to say that in several of the 
modern German critics there has been a want of 
historical sense, and even a failure to grasp the facts of 
Roman life, which have s-eriously impaired the value 
of their work in early Church history, in spite of all 
their learning and ability. Perhaps the best way to 
explain my meaning, and to offer myself to criticism 
and correction if I am wrong, will be to quote a few 
typical examples. 

Baur s " Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ," with its keen 
criticism of the historical incidents in St. Paul's life, has 
been an epoch-making work in the subject. Let us take 
one specimen of the historical arguments which he uses. 
There is no more difficult problem for the historian than 
the relations in which Romans and non-Romans stood 
to one another in provincial towns : a recent paper of 
Mommsen's * will give some idea of the utter obscurity in 
which this subject is involved. But for Baur there is no 
obscurity. Utterly unconscious of the difficulty of the 
subject, he moves with perfect ease and unhesitating confi- 
dence through the scene with the magistrates at Philippi ; 
he knows exactly what the colonial magistrates would do 
and how they would behave ; and he triumphantly dis- 
proves the authenticity of a document which might give 
one who possessed the historic sense a vivid picture of 
the provincial Roman magistrate suddenly realising that he 
has treated a Roman like a mere native. Ignorance might 
be freely pardoned, but not such bold assumption of 

But this example is perhaps antediluvian ; let us sec 

"^ E^hemeris E^igra^hicat vol. vii., 1892, p. 436ff. 

IX. Sttbject and Method. 187 

whether all is now changed for the better. I shall come 
down to a recent date, 1887, and to no mean theologian, 
Dr. Pfleiderer of the University of Berlin ; and shall select 
two examples bearing closely on my present subject and 
helping to make it clear. 

I. In one single sentence he states the historical argu- 
ment about the first epistle attributed to St. Peter. It 
presupposes that the persons to whom it was addressed 
were in a situation introduced by an act of Trajan, and 
therefore the epistle must be later than Trajan. These 
persons belonged to the provinces or countries of Pontus, 
Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia ; * and Dr. 
Pfleiderer boldly sums up these countries as the Roman 
province of Asia IMinor, declares that Pliny was governor 
of Acia Minor, and that Trajan, in reply to a question 
addressed to him by Pliny, issued an edict, ordering a 
persecution of the Christians in the province of Asia Minor. 
It would not be easy to unite more errors in a single short 
sentence, (i) There was no such Roman province as Asia 
Minor. (2) There was for the ancients no such geo- 
graphical or political entity as Asia Minor. (3) Pliny 
was governor, not of all the districts mentioned in I. Peter, 
but of the one province of Bithynia-Pontus. He had no 
authority in Cappadocia or Galatia or Asia. Therefore, 
if Trajan's orders extended only to Pliny's province. Dr. 

* ** Urchristenthum," p. 656 : " Der Brief setzt voraus, dass die 
Kleinasiatischen Leser um ihres Christennamens willen gerichtliche 
Verfolgungen zu bestehen hatten ; solche Glaubensprozesse aber, bei 
welchen keinc anderweitige Beschuldigung als eben das Christen- 
bekenntniss den Anklagepunkt bildete, sind erstmals von Trajan 
angeordnet worden, und zwar gerade fiir die^ Provinz Kleinasien, 
wo Plinius Statthalter war, der durch seine Anfrage in dieser Sache 
das kaiserliche Edikt veranlasste." 

1 88 The Chuixh in the Roman Empire, 

Pflelderer's explanation fails to account for the facts with 
which he is dealing. (4) Trajan did not issue any edict 
about the Christians. 

In the sequel we shall see how far any unprejudiced 
reader of the original letters could hold that Trajan first 
instituted a persecution of the Christians. 

2. Arguing that the Epistles of Ignatius are a forgery, 
Dr. Pfleiderer says that the tale of Ignatius' journey as a 
prisoner to be exposed to beasts in Rome is an unhistorical 
fiction ; for there is no analogy in the second century to 
this transportation of the criminal from the place of trial 
to the Roman amphitheatre.* But it is a commonplace of 
history that the practice was usual. It was regulated by 
special enactments, a few of which are preserved to us. If 
among the small number of cases known to us of Christians 
exposed to wild beasts no parallel to Ignatius occurs, that 
is no argument against the general practice. Moromscn 
expressly argues that the words of the Apocalypse, that 
Rome was " drunk with the blood of the martyrs," must be 
understood as referring to those who were condemned in 
the Eastern provinces and sent to Rome for execution. f 

I do not quote these faults from any desire to pick holes 
in the work of scholars greater than myself, but solely be- 
cause they are examples of false method. The question 
as to the date of I. Peter is a historical question, and the 

* Pfleiderer, " Das Urchristenthum," p. 826 : " Diese ganze Reise 
des Verurtheilten nach Rom ist eine ungeschichtliche Fiktion ; denn 
so oft auch Christen zum Thierkampf verurtheilt wurden, so findet 
sich doch im zweiten Jahrhundert keine Analogic zu diesem Trans- 
port aus dem Gerichtsort ins romische Amphitheater." 

t See Provinces of the Roman Enit)irey vol. ii., p. 199, of the 
English Translation. 

IX. Subject and Method. 189 

necessary condition of understanding it properly is to 
accurately conceive the circumstances and position of those 
to whom it is addressed. What confidence can be placed 
in the judgment about the authenticity of a historical 
document pronounced by a critic who is so hopelessly at 
sea in regard to elementary facts about the condition of 
the provinces to which the document relates? But 
Dr. Pfleiderer cares for none of these things. Ingenious 
and highly abstract philosophic thought reveals to him 
the whole evolution of Christian history, and with that 
knowledge clear in his mind he decides with secure 
confidence on the authenticity and date of historical 
documents. In truth historical arguments are to him of 
little importance and of no interest. His historical argu- 
ment about I. Peter is a mere parergon^ a mere make- 
weight thrown in for the sake of appearance and effect : 
unreasonable people demand historical arguments about 
historical documents, and it looks well to give them. The 
whole value of Dr. Pflciderer's learned, ingenious, and able 
work lies in another direction ; but for us, who require 
the theory to be founded on the document, not the 
document cut to fit the theory, its value is nil. 

The false method which has just been alluded to is 
far too common. In a subject of such difficulty as the 
history of the early Church, a subject about which the 
only point that is universally agreed on is its obscurity, 
not a few writers feel so confident in their own particular 
theory that they condemn as spurious every piece of 
evidence that disagrees with it. This condemnation is 
sometimes justified by a professed examination of the 
evidence — a mere pretence, because conducted with mind 
already made up and strained in the outlook for reasons 

190 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

to support their conclusion ; at other times the pretence 
of examination is discarded, and a document, in spite of 
the general presumption in its favour on other grounds, 
is rejected or relegated to a later date, simply and 
solely because its admission is fatal to the critic's pet 

6. The Point of View. 

No one can be free from bias in this subject, and 
perhaps, therefore, it would be best to put you on your 
guard by stating briefly the general point of view from 
which these lectures are written. 

The Roman Empire and the Church represent to the 
historian two different attempts to cope with the existing 
problems of society. The former started from the idea 
first articulated by Tiberius Gracchus, that every Roman 
citizen deserved to occupy a situation of decent comfort, 
and to benefit in some degree by the wealth and prosperity 
of the whole state. It soon appeared that this idea implied 
political reform, or rather revolution. Experience further 
showed that this revolution, and the changed relations to 
the subject countries which were introduced by it, de- 
manded a new religion. 

A religion was needed, for to the ancients a union with- 
out a religious bond to hold it together was inconceivable. 
Every society made its union binding on its members by 
religious obligations and common ritual. The family tie 
meant, not common blood, but communion in the same 
family cultus. Patriotism was another form of adherence 
to the national religion. 

Further, this religion must be a new one ; for no existing 

IX. Stibject and Method. 191 

religion was wider than national ; * and no ancient religion 
wished to proselytise or to take in new members. The 
object of each was to confine its benefits to a small 
circle of devotees, and to enlist the aid of the god whom 
it worshipped against all strangers, all foreigners, all 
enemies — i.e.^ against all who were not within the privileged 
circle. But the new Empire transcended national distinc- 
tions and national religions. Roman citizenship included 
an ever growing proportion of the population in every land 
round the Mediterranean, till at last it embraced the whole 
Roman world. 

This new unity therefore required a new religion to con- 
secrate it, and to create a common idea and a tie. Half 1 
with conscious aim, half driven on unconsciously by the 
tide of circumstances, the new empire set about creating a 
new religion. It showed extraordinary skill in construct- 
ing the new system out of the old with the least possible 1 
change, taking up the existing religions and giving them \ 
a place in its scheme. The Emperor represented the 
majesty, the wisdom, and the beneficent power of Rome : 
he was in many cases actually represented in different parts 
of the empire as an incarnation of the god worshipped in 
that district, the Zeus Larasios of Tralles, the Men of 
Juliopolis, the Zeus Olympics of the Greeks in general. 
Even where this final step was not taken, the imperial 
cultus was, in the Asian provinces generally, organised 
as the highest and most authoritative religion, and the 
emperor was named along with and before the special 
deity of the district. 

* Apparent exceptions, such as the worship of Isis, need not be 
here discussed. The general principle will not bQ disputed by any. 

192 The Chtirch in the Roman E7)ipire. 

Christianity also created a religion for the Empire, 
transcending all distinctions of nationality ; but, far from 
striving to preserve a continuity between the past and 
the future, it comprehended the past in a universal con- 
demnation, " dust and ashes, dead and done with." It 
cannot be denied that the Christians were in a historical 
view unfair to the old religions, and blind to certain fine 
conceptions lurking in them ; but it is equally certain 
that the Imperial state religion had no vitality and nothing 
of the religious character. 

The path of development for the empire lay in accepting 
the religion offered it to complete its organisation. Down 
to the time of Hadrian there was a certain progress on the 
part of the Empire towards a recognition of this necessity ; 
after Hadrian the progress ended, but also after Hadrian 
the development of the imperial idea ended, until he found 
a successor in Constantine. 

This view * has been the guide in my reading, and has 
perhaps caused some bias in choosing facts. But I am 
glad to be able to refer to the eloquent and weighty pages 
in which Mommsen last year showed f that Christianity 
was in reality not the enemy but the friend of the Empire, 
that the Empire grew far stronger when the Emperors 

* I may quote what I said in the Exj^ositor^ December 1889, 
p. 402 : " One of the most remarkable sides of the history of Rome 
is the growth of ideas which found their realisation and completion 
in the Christian Empire. Universal citizenship, universal equality, 
universal religion, a universal Church, all were ideas which the 
Empire was slowly working out, but which it could not realise till it 
merged itself in Christianity." 

t On pp. 416 ff. of a remarkable review of Neumann, which appeared 
in the Historische Zeitschriff, vol. xxviii., pp. 389-429, under the 
title of " Der Religionsfrevel nach romischem Recht." 

IX, Subject and Method, 193 

became Christian, that the religious attitude of the earlier 
centuries was a source of weakness rather than of strength, 
and the endeavour of the fourth century to make the state 
religion an abstract monotheism tolerant of all creeds and 
sects was soon found impracticable. 

But when Mommsen implies that the emperors would 
gladly have tolerated Christianity, but were occasionally 
forced by popular feeling and popular clamour to depart 
from their proper policy and persecute Christianity, I 
think this is true, but not a complete account. In- 
stances of mere weak yielding to popular feeling occur ; 
but it is not the case that the weakest emperors are the 

The difficulty then is, how is the persecution of Christians 
by the emperors to be explained ? Lightfoot has urged 
that Christianity was a religio illiczta, and as such forbidden 
by immemorial law. This is true, but it does not constitute 
a sufficient explanation of the persecution. The same 
prohibition applied to many other religions which practi- 
cally were never interfered with. Growing toleration of 
non-Roman religions was inseparable from the growth of 
the imperial idea and the gradual merging of Roman 
citizenship in Imperial citizenship. The exclusiveness of 
Roman religion, which sprang from the pride of Roman 
citizenship, necessarily grew weaker along with it. The 
sense of this growing change was not perhaps consciously 
and distinctly present to the mind of any Emperor except 
Hadrian, who is said to have entertained the thought of 
building temples everywhere to the unseen god.* But it 
must have been dimly felt by all the emperors, and it 

• See Scri^tores Historic^ AugttstcCj xviii. (Alex. Severus), 43, 6. 


194 '^^^^ Church m the Roman Empire, 

certainly lies at the bottom of the growing indifference to 
the spread of foreign rites among the Romans. 

To explain the proscription of one religion alone, amid 
otherwise universal tolerance, is our first object. 

Few historical questions have suffered more from loose 
expression and loose thought than this. It is universally 
agreed (i) that originally Christians were regarded as a 
mere Jewish sect, that the Empire did not concern itself with 
questions of Jewish law, and that Christianity benefited by 
the freedom and even favour granted to the Jewish religion 
by the Roman Government ; (2) that at a later period there 
was an absolute proscription of Christianity by the empire, 
and war to the knife between these two powers. 

The question at what time the one treatment was 
changed for the other, or whether any intermediate treatment 
different from both was in force for a time, is a delicate 
one, in which precision in word and in thought is abso- 
lutely essential. Until Mommsen had introduced more 
exact ideas as to the terms and forms of Imperial procedure, 
such precision was very difficult to practise ; and even now 
to attain it is " hard and rare." 

The beginning of the declared and inexpiable war 
between the Empire and the Christians has been assigned 
to very different dates by modern writers. Some make it 
the result of a supposed edict of Septimius Severus, but 
Neumann has shown conclusively that no proof exists that 
Severus issued any edict on the subject. It illustrates the 
looseness with which the legal and administrative aspects 
of this question are treated, that Dr. Harnack,* in review- 
ing Neumann, continues to speak of this edict, whose 

* TheologiscJie Zeitschrift^ 1890, No. 4, col. 87. 

IX. Subject and Method. 195 

existence Neumann has disproved. There is no proof, 
and we may add no probability, that Severus did more 
than answer by rescript questions addressed to him by 
provincial governors. This is no mere question of words 
and names ; it is a question of prime consequence in under- 
standing the relation of the Empire and of Severus to the H 
Church. ^ 

Others date the beginning of this war from the reign of 
Trajan ; * Neumann recently derives it from Domitian, and 
dates the supposed change in the attitude of the State to 
the Church precisely 95 A.D. 

Where shall we find a safe point from which to start our 
investigation ? This cannot be a matter of doubt. If 
we were allowed our choice of a piece of evidence about 
the view held by the Imperial administration with regard 
to the Christians, probably those most conversant with 
Roman history would ask for a private report addressed to 
the Emperor for purely business reasons, with no thought 
of publication, by some experienced official, possessing a 
good acquaintance with the ordinary imperial procedure, 
and for the Emperor's reply to it. That we possess in 
Pliny's Report addressed to Trajan from Bithynia, probably 
in the latter months of the year 112, and Trajan's Rescript 
to Pliny. 

* This was the prevailing idea in Germany, and in all scholarship 
that was dominated by German influence, till Neumann. A slight 
variety of it is stated by Overbeck, Studien zur Geschichte der 
alien Kzrche, p. 94, " Before Nerva it is only by accident through 
the personal mood of one or another Emperor that the Christian sect 
found itself at enm'ity with the state." 




I. Preliminary Considerations. 

WORD of preliminary is needed on the question of 
the genuineness of the documents. The question 
fortunately has been already raised, discussed, and, we 
may almost say, buried. The correspondence of Pliny with 
Trajan depends on a single manuscript, of unknown age, 
found in Paris about 1 500, apparently taken to Italy in the 
next few years, used by several persons before 1 508, and 
never since seen or known. In spite of this suspicious 
history, the correspondence is indubitably genuine. It 
contains such a picture of provincial administration that, 
until Mommsen had written and the public&.tion of the 
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum had been well advanced, 
no one was able adequately to understand its importance ;t 
and each advance in our knowledge of the imperial organi- 
sation only enables us more clearly to appreciate the 
importance of this unique revelation of Roman provincial 

The two letters (nos. 96 and 97) which especially concern 
us now are also genuine. The one is indubitably written in 

* Pliny, " Epist. ad Trajan," 96, 97. 

t The whole correspondence can be studied best in Mr. Hardy's 
useful edition, the notes in which bring out the characteristics of 
provincial administration very well. A few occasional errors are 
not such as to interfere with the enjoyment apd profit of the reader, 


X. Plhtys Report and Trajan s Rescript. 197 

Pliny's style. The other shows the direct, incisive manner 
of the great practical administrator, Trajan, who speaks 
his meanini^ without a single unnecessary clause ; but we 
have not the same criteria about the style as we have in 
the case of Pliny, and we must take into account that 
such rescripts were perhaps composed in the imperial 
chancellery from the Emperor's notes or verbal directions. 
Personally, I must confess that the whole series of Trajan's 
rescripts to Pliny make on me the impression of having 
been composed (and doubtless dictated) by one single 
person ; but it is not easy to estimate, and it is certainly 
not safe to minimise, the degree to which uniformity of 
style could be impressed on an official bureau under the 
permanent direction of one powerful genius. The spirit of 
these documents, so different from that of any later age, is 
alone a sufficient defence. A forger is confined within the 
limits of his own knowledge and of the tone and spirit of 
his time ; but these documents become more pregnant 
with meaning the longer they are studied ; and the diffi- 
culties which they undoubtedly present are caused partly 
by the imperfection of our own knowledge, and partly 
by determined prepossession in favour of some imperfect 
historical view. 

In order to appreciate properly two such documents we 
must put ourselves in the position of the two parties, and 
we must clearly conceive their character and their training 
■ — the one with the precise, formal, but scrupulously just 
character of a lawyer of high standing and long practice in 
the Roman courts, the other the greatest and most clear- 
sighted administrator that ever wielded the power be- 
queathed by Augustus. We may be sure that a question 
on a point of legal procedure addressed by Pliny to Trajan 


h^- f 

198 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

puts before him clearly the legal aspect of the situation ; 
but he explains nothing which he can assume to be present 
in the Emperor's mind. We have, then, not merely to 
translate the documents, which is comparatively easy, but 
to understand them, which is very difficult. We have to 
read much between the lines, to conceive very precisely the 
meaning of certain phrases, and above all to remember 
that these are business papers, and the writers men of 
affairs — not philosophers discussing subtleties, nor historians 
drawing a picture of events for the benefit of future readers. 
This is by no means a short or easy task ; and I trust 
therefore to your patience if I enter with even painful 
minuteness into the discussion of the whole situation, and 
to your indulgence if, after all, I should fail to grasp 
thoroughly, or explain clearly, the situation. 

2. The Religious Question in Bithynia-Pontus. 

In A.D. 1 1 2* as we learn incidentally from Pliny's letter, 
the new religion had spread so widely in Bithynia, not 
merely in the cities, but also in the villages and the 
country districts generally, that the temples were almost 
deserted, and the sacrificial ritual was interrupted. In- 
formation against the Christians was lodged with Pliny ; 
but we are left to guess from what quarter it came, and 
what precise form it took. He does not expressly tell us 
whether the accusations were simply couched in the form 
that the accused were Christians, or whether it was also 
alleged that they had caused injury and undeserved loss 
to respectable persons, or had been guilty of grave crimes. 


Mommsen leaves a choice between the two years 112, 11^. 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 199 

Whatever was the precise character of the charges PHny 
entertained them. 

It is probable that Pliny, with his strict, precise ideas of 
the law, and with the careful, zealous attention to duty 
which belonged to his character, proceeded, immediately 
on his arrival in the province, to carry out the principles 
of Roman provincial administration with an energy and 
thoroughness that formed a strong contrast to the conduct 
of the preceding governors. The latter had permitted a 
laxity of administration, which had led to serious disorders 
and disorganisation throughout the province. Pliny had 
been sent on a special mission to restore order ; and he 
showed his activity, we may be sure, from the day he 
entered on office. The character of his mission — to restore 
order in a province disorganised by lax administration — 
lends additional emphasis and meaning to the fact that he 
rigidly enforced the procedure against the Christians. It 
also throws a clear light on his explanation to the Emperor 
that the Christians deserved death for their obstinate and 
insubordinate spirit, quite apart from any question as to 
the penalty of their Christianity. They offered a gross 
instance of the disorder and insubordination which had been 
allowed to pervade the province, and which Pliny was 
commissioned to stamp out. Such was his first duty, and 
it is easy to understand how the Christians must have 
appeared to him to need energetic and severe treatment 
as soon as his attention was called to them. 

Now Pliny pointedly mentions that an improvement in 
one branch of trade, — viz. in the sale of fodder for the 
victims that were kept in stock at the temples to be ready 
for sacrifice by worshippers — took place in consequence of 
his energetic measures against the Christians. This curious 

200 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

reference to a rather humble trade suggests that originally 
complaints had been made to Pliny by the tradesmen 
whose, business was endangered, and that in this way his 
attention was first drawn to the Christians. He saw that 
persons engaged in a lawful occupation were interfered 
with in their trade, and deprived of their proper gains, 
through the disturbance caused in society and ordinary 
ways of life by the action of the Christians and the new- 
fangled ideas and ways which they introduced. Such 
interference with the settled course of society was certain 
to rouse the action of the Roman Government wherever it 
was vigorously administered, and it was, as a rule, in some 
such way that the Christian religion in its earlier stages 
attracted the notice and the repressive action of the 

An example of the attitude which a Roman governor 
would be likely to assume towards any such interference 
with the normal course of trade may be quoted from the 
neighbouring province of Asia. When disturbances were 
caused at Magnesia on the Maeander by the bakers, who 
had struck for higher prices, a Roman official (of course 
the proconsul) prohibited them from forming a union, and 
ordered them to continue their industry. Such revolu- 
'Hionary conduct was destructive of peace and order, and 
was always vigorously repressed by the Roman Government. 
No question was asked whether the bakers had any 
justification for their demand for higher prices. Their 
action in depriving the city of the necessary supply of 
bread must necessarily cause disorder, and was therefore 

* E.g., Paul's troubles at Philippi and at Ephesus were caused in 
this way. See p. 131. 

X, Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 201 

dangerous. The proconsul, accordingly, ordered them to 
submit in all respects to the officials charged with the 
superintendence of the general interests of the city.* • 

3. First and Second Stage of the Trials. 

In the investigations which followed in Bithynia or 
Pontus,t the earlier cases appear to have been of a uniform 
type. The first that were accused — they were no doubt 
the boldest and most prominent adherents of the faith| — 
appear to have all, without exception, persisted in avowing 
their religion. Pliny's procedure was to put three times to 
them the question whether they were Christians, at the 
same time threatening them with punishment. When they 
persisted in declaring themselves Christians, Pliny con- 
demned to death those who were provincials, while those 
who were Roman citizens he ordered to be transported to 
Rome to await the Emperor's decision. 

More complexity in the cases appeared, when in con- 
sec[uence of the proceedings § new charges were brought ; 

* dnayopevco iJ.r)Te avu(p)^e(rdat tovs dpTOK\_6^Kovs Kar ircupiau, p.T}T€ 
npoeaTrjKoTas OpacrvvecrBai, Treidap)((7i> Se 7r[ai']Ta)S' to7s vTTfp rov KOLvrj 
(rvp.<p€povTos eTTLTaTTOfifvoLS, Ka\ rrjv dvayKalav rod liprov ipyaaiav dvcvberj 
napex^iv rfj TroXei. — Bull. Correspondance Hellenique, 1883, p. 506. 
It is unfortunate that tliis extremely interesting and important 
document is imperfect, so that the date and the precise circum- 
stances are uncertain. 

t On the precise part of the province Bithynia-Pontus, where the 
trials were held, see p. 22^. 

X They correspond to those qui fatehanfur in Tacitus, Annals, 
XV. 44 ; see p. 238. 

§ T;pso tractatu : i.e., new cases resulted from information obtained 
in the first trials ; but Mr. Hardy's explanation — that the informers 
were encouraged to fresh accusations — is perhaps correct ; or both 
results may be summed up in one brief phrase. As I am disposed 

202 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

and the variety in the cases was still further increased 
when an anonymous document reached Pliny denouncing 
a large number of persons. In the course of the further 
trials that were thus brought about, some of the defendants 
at once denied that they were Christians, others at first 
acknowledged, but yielded (as we may understand from the 
context) to the threats of the governor, and recanted, saying 
that they had formerly been Christians, but had ceased to 
be so, some even twenty-five years ago. All these offered 
incense before the statue of the Emperor, and cursed Christ. 
Pliny now found himself in a difficulty. He had no doubt 
as to the procedure when the culprits persisted in claiming 
the name of Christian, but when they repented he began to 
hesitate. Apparently he detained the penitents until he 
consulted the Emperor, while those who denied that they 
were or ever had been Christians were dismissed. 

This exposition differs to a slight degree from the view 
held by Neumann,* who says that a change in the form of 
procedure occurred after the anonymous document of 

to understand it, i;p5,o tractatic corresponds to indicio eoruni in 
TtiziXms^ Annals, xv. 44: information obtained in the course of the 
first trials is meant ; but Tacitus lays more stress on the fact that 
this information was gained through the examination of the accused 
persons, Pliny on the fact that it was elicited in connection with 
their cases. As other cases of later date show, Pliny would begin 
in each case by identifying the accused, asking his name, station, 
city, occupation, etc. See, e.g., Acta Carpi, and M. Le Blant, 
SuppMni. aux Actes des Martyrs, § 59, in Alanoires de V Institute 
tome XXX., part II., 1883. 

* " Es lief ein anon. Klagschrift ein : . . . Jetzt begniigt sich 
Plinius aber nicht mehr mit der Frage, ob die Angeklagten Christen 
sind, sondern jetzt fragt er sie auch, ob sie es iibcrhaupt einmal 
waren. Auch geniigt ihm jetzt nicht mehr die einfache Verlcugnung, 
sondern er fordert dass sich dicselbe in dcr Anrufung, u.s.w. 
bewahre" (Neumann, p. 20). 

X, Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 203 

accusation {libeUiis acciisatorius) was received, and that 
Pliny, who had previously accepted the denial at once, now 
in the second series of trials went further, first, asking 
whether they ever had been Christians, and secondly, 
requiring them to confirm their denial by distinct acts of 
conformity to the established religion. But this further 
procedure need not and cannot be taken as an innovation 
introduced in the second series of trials. In the first series, 
where the best known cases appeared, there were only 
respondents of one class, viz., the confessors {confitentes or 
fatentes) ; in the second series several classes appeared 
{plures species inciderunt). Pliny did not modify his 
procedure : he acted throughout on a certain view as to the 
proper law and procedure, and when he began to feel some 
misgivings whether his knowledge was equal to the com- 
plexity and importance of the cases, he stayed the investiga- 
tions till he could lay his difficulties before the Emperor. 

Pliny does not expressly state that there were in the 
later series of trials any cases of persistent and resolute 
confession ; but there can be no doubt that there were. It 
was unnecessary for him to mention them expressly, for 
his object was merely to indicate the various types : the 
confessors are mentioned once for all in the original series 
of cases, and Pliny's way of treating them is described.* 

When the simple process of listening to reiterated con- 
fession and pronouncing sentence was no longer sufficient, 
Pliny began to inquire into the course of action, the 
principles, and the character of the Christians. The 

* Neumann's view is different. He considers that Pliny reserved 
all cases of confession in the further series of trials : " Das Urteiliiber 
die Christen die fest geblieben hat er offenbar noch nicht gefallt," 
p. 20. 

204 The ChurcJi tn the Roman Empire. 

question here arises, why did he make this inquiry? Was 
it from enhghtened curiosity and scientific desire to inves- 
tigate the facts, or was it as an essential necessary part of 
the legal proceedings? Pliny's position and legal training 
leave no doubt that he conceived the irquiry to be 
necessary in order to enable him to decide on their case. 
If they persistently confess the Name Pliny does not think 
it essential to inquire further into their behaviour before 
condemning them ; but if they recant and abjure the Name, 
and prove their penitence by acts of conformity with the 
religion recognised by the State, then he finds it necessary 
to investigate into their previous action and life before he 
comes to any determination as to what verdict he should 
pronounce. What is his view in acting thus? It is 
obviously as follows. Mere penitence for past crime is not 
in law a sufficient atonement, and does not deserve full 
pardon. A robber who confesses and promises to live a 
better life is treated less harshly than a persistent criminal, 
but he is not pardoned forthwith ; his past life and conduct 
are examined into, to see what penalty is appropriate for 
him. Similarly Pliny proceeded to investigate into the 
past life and conduct of the Christians with a view to 
determine what degree of punishment was appropriate. 
Having abjured Christianity, they could no longer be 
condemned for the Name, as persistent confessors were. 
But if they had in their past life been guilty of child- 
murder, and cannibalism, and other abominable crimes, they 
were still amenable to the law, and must stand further trial. 
The analogy with the proceedings at Lugdunum in 
A.D. 177 is remarkable. There also the penitents were 
not pardoned fully, but an investigation was made into 
their past conduct as Christians, and the evidence of slaves 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 205 

was taken. These slaves were Pagans, belonging to Christian 
masters. Their evidence was to the effect that the Christians 
had been guilty of abominable crimes.* Thereupon, those 
who had abjured their religion were imprisoned as murderers 
and guilty criminals, and suffered even more than the con- 
fessors, who were punished simply as Christians.! 

4. Pliny's Attitude towards the Christians. 

Pliny apparently fully believed at first that the charges 
currently brought against the Christians were well founded, 
and that the general proscription, in accordance with which 
he condemned them instantly after confession, was founded 
on their detestable rites. He proceeded to inquire into 
the cases individually ; and he learned first of all from 
those who recanted, and afterwards from two deaconesses 
(who, being slaves, were examined under torture), that the 
rites of the Christian religion were simple and harmless, 
that their discipline forbade all crimes, that the worshippers 
bound themselves by a sacramentimt to do no wrong, 
and that the charges commonly brought against them of 
practising child-murder, cannibalism, and other hideous 
offences at their private meetings were groundless.^ 

* GveVrfta SeiTrm and OiStTroSf toi /xi^eis, Eusebius, Hist. JEccles., V. i. 

t Afterwards the governor wrote to ask the Emperor's instructions 
about those culprits that were Romans, and in explaining the situation 
mentioned (apparently incidentally, and not with a view to ask for 
guidance) what he had done with the penitents ; and the Emperor in 
his rescript ordered that all penitents should be pardoned. 

X Neumann acutely remarks that from their answers we can gather 
that the questions put to them were about the very charges which 
are explicitly mentioned in the proceedings at Lugdunum. See 
above, note *. The same charges are referred to by Tacitus, Annals , 
XV. 44, 2i?> Jlagitia, 

2o6 The Church in the Roman Empire. 


Pliny clearly was much impressed with the harmlessness 
and simplicity which he discovered in the principles of 
the new religion. But this general impression did not 
affect his attitude towards it. He still considers that it is 
a crime, and that those whom he had condemned were 
deserving of death for obstinacy, if not for Christianity. 
He felicitates himself on the good results that had been 
already produced by his action, and he expects that by 
a continuation of judicious and rigid enforcement of the 
law, the sect may be easily suppressed and order restored. 
He found it to be nothing more than a superstitio prava 
iminodica. It was a superstitio (in other words, a non- 
Roman worship of non-Roman gods), in the first place 
a degrading system {prava), and secondly, destructive 
of that reasonable and obedient course of life which 
becomes both the philosophic mind and the loyal citizen 
(inwiodica). They had indeed been in the habit of holding 
social meetings, and feasting in common ; but this illegal 
practice they had abandoned as soon as the governor 
had issued an edict in accordance with the Emperor's 
instructions, forbidding the formation or existence of 
sodalitates. None of the fundamental laws applied to 
their case ; they avoided breaking these laws. The only 
question that remains about the system is whether in 
itself, apart from its effect on the life and conduct of its 
votaries (which is found by Pliny to be morally good), it 
requires to be prohibited on political or religious con- 
siderations ; and these two were to the Roman essentially 
connected, for the State interfered in religious matters 
only in so far as they had a political aspect and a bearing 
on patriotism and loyalty ; while in other respects the gods 
were left to defend themselves {deoruni iniurice dis cures). 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 207 

5. The Case was Administrative, not Legal. 

Meanwhile Pliny resolved to postpone further pro- 
ceedings until he learned what was the Emperor's view 
as to the proper action to take ; and he mentioned in his 
report that his strongest motive for postponing proceedings 
lay in the consideration of the large number of persons 
affected. This leads to the question under what special 
law, or in virtue of what power, Pliny understood the 
proceedings to be conducted. He was too strict a 
lawyer to take the view that the law should be leniently 
administered because it was disobeyed by a large number 
of persons ; on the contrary, the Roman practice was 
guided by the maxim that, when offenders increase in 
numbers, an example must be made by enforcing the 
law more strictly and energetically. Accordingly, Pliny 
cannot have conceived the matter as one coming under 
some definite law ; he understood it to be a matter of 
practical administration, and he knew, as every Roman 
governor knew, by nature and by training, that govern- 
ment must often be a compromise. He might, by too 
rigidly carrying out the general principle that mere 
profession of Christianity was dangerous to law and 
order and deserving of death, increase rather than quiet 
the disorder, through the number of prosecutions. It 
was a case in which much was left to his own judgment, 
in which tact and governing capacity had full opportunity; 
in short, one where he acted with the full authority vested 
in a governor and administrator, not as the mere instru- 
ment and judge enforcing the penalty of a fixed and 
definite law. 

Pliny must have been under the impression that his 

2o8 The CJmrch m the Roman Evtpire. 

action was In accordance with the general powers and 
instructions of all governors of provinces, to maintain 
peace and order, and to seek out and punish all persons 
whose action disturbed, or was likely to disturb, public 
order.* Such also is the interpretation of Neumann, who 
has understood the facts better than any of his predecessors. 
This view is confirmed by the character of the corre- 
spondence of Pliny with Trajan. He refers to the 
Emperor, not questions of law, but questions of administra- 
tion and policy; he asks for relaxation of law or custom 
in individual cases, and, in general, seeks for guidance 
In cases which arc left to his own judgment and tact. 
Especially where he thinks an exception might be made 
to a general principle, he consults the Emperor In matters 
which appear almost ludicrously slight ; but critics have 
been too severe on Pliny, for in these cases he is really 
only criticising the rules laid down for him, and suggesting 
that they may judiciously be relaxed. Such examples 
show how strictly Pliny conceived himself to be bound by 
1 the general principles of Imperial policy, and how afraid he 
' was to swerve from them in small matters ; and he may no 
j doubt be taken as a good example of the Roman official. 
The imperial policy ruled absolutely In the provinces, and 

* Digest, 48, 13, 4, 2 : " Mandatis {i.e., the general instructions 
given to each governor of a province) autem cavetur de sacrilegiis 
ut prsesides sacrilcgos latrones plagiarios conquirant, et ut, prout 
quisque deliqnerit, in eum animadvertant." Digest, i, 18, i"^, ;pref.\ 
" Ulpianus libro VII. de officio proconsulis. Congruit bono et gravi 
praesidi curare, ut pacata atque quieta provincia sit quam regit. 
Quod non difficile obtinebit, si sollicite agat ut mails hominibus 
provincia careat, eosque conquirat : nam et sacrilegos latrones 
plagiarios fures conquirere debet, et prout quisque deliquerit in eum 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 209 

the emperors, though not present, were consulted before 
even sHght modifications of the general rules were made. 
The representatives who governed provinces were not 
viceroys but merely deputies. This fact is very important 
in our present subject : the policy throughout the empire 
towards the Christians was moulded by the wishes and 
views of the reigning Emperor. 

Mommsen has pointed out the power in the Roman 
constitution which allowed the most prompt and effectual 
action against the Christians, and which seems to have 
been always employed in the proceedings taken against 
them.* The higher magistrates were entrusted with a very 
large power of immediate action on their own responsi- 
bility for checking any disorder or abuse, and for correcting 
and chastising any person who was acting in a way 
prejudicial, or likely to be prejudicial, to the State. They 
could, where they thought it advisable, in such cases in- 
flict personal indignity, such as tearing the clothes and 
beating ; they could order a culprit to be for the moment 
imprisoned, and they could fine him, or even put him to 
death, but they were not empowered to inflict lasting 
punishments (such as exile or imprisonment for a definite 
term), except in so far as the momentary act of punish- 
ment caused permanent results. Especially in the case of 
religion this magisterial action was widely and almost 
exclusively employed. The Roman religion was the ex- 
pression of Roman patriotism, the bond of Roman unity, 
and the pledge of Roman prosperity. Magisterial action, 
prompt and vigorous, was a better and shorter way of 

* See his paper in Historische Zeitschrifty xxviii., p. 398, on which 
the ensuing paragraph is founded. 




2 10 The Church in the Ro7nan Empire, 

preventing the Roman citizen from neglecting this part /' 
of his duties to the State, and of punishing the tempter 
who made him neglect them, than any appeal to formal 
law and a formal trial. Hence, although such legal pro- 
cedure was possible, it was hardly used, was never de- / 
veloped, and has no practical bearing on our present 
subject. It was by magisterial action alone that Isis- 
worship was expelled beyond the walls of Rome, that 
worship of the Celtic deities was forbidden to Roman 
citizens by Augustus, that Romans who professed the 
Jewish religion were expelled from the city. 

Pliny therefore was acting in virtue of his imperium, 
which gave him power of life and death over all persons 
within his province, except Roman citizens ; nor is there 
any reason to think that he was the first governor called 
upon to act in such cases. The supposition is therefore 
excluded that any formal law had been enacted to forbid 
Christianity. We may safely infer also that no express edict 
of any Emperor had been issued to suppress Christianity. 

The inference is confirmed by the way in which Pliny 
put the case to the Emperor. He was in the habit of 
quoting or referring to any edict or rescript of any emperor 
which bore upon any question referred to Trajan ; and if the 
usage of previous proconsuls in Bithynia had given pre- 
scriptive force to a point of administration, * he mentioned 
the fact. But here he refers to no previous edict or law. 

An instructive parallel is to be found in Epist. i lo. There 
a point is raised for Trajan's consideration, a point of 
practical administration, where compromise is advisable 
or at least allowable. Pliny puts the case as turning on 

See Epist. io8. 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 2 1 1 

a point in his instructions (iJtandata) forbidding all dona- 
tions from cities to individual citizens. The question is 
whether this principle is retrospective, whether prescriptive 
right of long standing has any validity, and whether the 
public prosecutor of Amisos is justified in demanding that 
a donation given twenty years ago should be refunded. 

In the case of the Christians, not merely does Pliny not 
state any law or edict against which they had offended, 
but he points out that they had taken care to avoid offend- 
ing against the edict which he had, according to the regular 
practice, issued on assuming command of the province. In 
the edict he had, in accordance with the Emperor's instruc- 
tions (mandatd), insisted on strict observance of a law which 
had been suffered by preceding governors to fall into abey- 
ance — viz., the law forbidding sodalitates. Thereupon the 
Christians had altered their practice so as to conform to 
the law. 

6. Pliny's Questions and Trajan's Reply. 

Pliny puts three special questions to the Emperor, which 
I have postponed in order to bring them into immediate 
connection with the rescript sent in reply by Trajanl 

1. Should any discrimination be made between different 
culprits on account of youth ? In other words, are extenu- 
ating circumstances to be taken into account ? * 

2. Should those who repent be pardoned ? 

3. What is the precise nature of the offence which is to 

* It is assumed throughout both letters that the penalty is death ; 
the question qicatenus ;puniri debeat in the preceding clause means, 
not what degree of punishment should be inflicted ? but what 
distinctions should be made in the infliction of penalty — i.e.^ should 
extenuating circumstances be taken into account, or repentance 
ensure pardon ? 

212 TJie Church in the Roman Empire. 

be investigated and punished? Is the mere Name, without 
any proof that serious moral offences have been committed, 
to be punished, or is it definite crimes conjoined with 
the Name that deserve punishment ? In the latter case it 
is of course implied that the commission of these grave 
moral offences must be proved by distinct evidence, if 
denied by the criminals (as it may safely be assumed that 
they will deny). In the former case the acknowledgment 
of the Name by the accused is in itself sufficient ground 
for condemnation. 

Trajan does not formally reply to the questions in this 
form and order ; but in his brief review of the situation 
and the principles of action an answer to each is implicitly 
contained. After the long discussion which has just been 
given we can readily understand his view. 

1. Pliny's procedure has been correct — i.e., his original 
assumption that the Name of Christian, if persisted in, 
deserved the penalty of death, was right.* 

2. No universal rule applicable to all cases can be laid 
down — i.e., extenuating circumstances are to be considered 
according to the discretion of the governor. 

3. Penitence deserves pardon, if shown in act by com- 
pliance with rites of the Roman religion. 

4. The governor is not to search for the Christians ; but 
if they are formally accused by an avowed (not by an 
anonymous) accuser, the penalty must be inflicted. 

This rescript does not initiate procedure against the 
Christians. It is absurd to suppose that Trajan for the first 
time laid down the principle, " The Christians are criminals 

* Neumann has rightly emphasized in the strongest terms the 
original action of Pliny, p. 22, n. 3, " Es kann nicht scharf ge7iug 
be ton i werden . ' ' 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 213 

deserving death ; but you may shut your eyes to them until 
an accuser insists on your opening them." Trajan's language 
is that of one who feels unable to contravene or to abrogate 
an existing principle of the imperial government, but who 
desires this principle to be applied with mildness and not 
insisted on. Neumann has rightly perceived that this is 
the true meaning of Trajan's rescript, and in this respect 
has made a great advance on previous critics. It is one of 
the most astounding facts in modern historical investigation 
that so many modern, and especially German, critics of high 
standing and authority,* have reiterated that Trajan was 
the first to make the Name a crime, and that any Christian 
document which refers to the Name as a ground for death 
must be later than his rescript.! 

7. The Chris tians were not Puni shed as a 

Trajan, like Pliny in his early trials, condemns the 
Christians simply on their confession without further ques- 
tion, trial, or proof. They are outlaws ; they are treated 

* Even those who have not fully adopted this erroneous view have 
often been affected to some degree by it. On the history of the 
view see Lightfoot's note, Ignat. and Polyc, i., p. 7. M. Doulcet, 
in his Essai sur les Rapports de VEglise Chretien7ie avec VEtat 
Rouiaiii, 1883, p. 52, reckoned Wieseler the only scholar who declined 
to accept this view ; but Lightfoot mentions others. It would be un- 
fair to refrain from alluding to the many English scholars, Lightfoot, 
Salmon, Hort, etc., who, in writings or in lectures, have interpreted 
Pliny and Trajan more correctly. But in general their treatment of 
the question has suffered to some slight degree from their treating 
it as a matter of formal and positive law, instead of as a question of 
practical administration. 

t The inference has been drawn especially about First Peter; see 
above, p. 187. 

2 14 The Church in the Roman E77tpire. 

like brigands caught in the act. It is necessary to insist 
on this point, because many high authorities differ from 
the view here stated. Practically the question comes to 
this : were the Christians condemned for violating the 
general law (recently confirmed by Pliny's edict in accord- 
ance with the imperial utandatd), which regulated and 
confined within very narrow limits the right of forming 
associations (collegia, sodalitates), or were they condemned 
simply for the Name ? A want of clearness and a wavering 
between these two essentially different forms of trial are 
apparent in much that has been written on the subject. 
The same writers who in one page recognise that the Name 
is punished, on the next page speak of the edict against 
sodalitates as the ground on which the Christians were 

In answer to this question, the following considerations 
suggest themselves : — 

I. If the Christians had been punished by Pliny as an 
illegal association isodalitas), he must have put some ques- 
tions on the point to them. Even the most arbitrary of 
governors could not condemn a criminal to death for vio- 
lating a law without some show of trial, some statement of 
the law, and some show of testimony, good or bad, that the 
criminal had broken the law ; much less can we suppose 
that a strict lawyer like Pliny would act in so illegal a way. 
Even a confession of guilt was regarded by the Roman law 
in some cases f as insufficient to entail condemnation. 

* In the original form of these lectures I criticised Mr. Hardy's 
excursus on the subject ; but he has informed me that he has, since 
the book appeared, modified his opinion there expressed. 

t Viz., in judicio ; but in cognitions (pp.216, 398), acknowledgment 
of the charge sufficed to ensure condemnation. 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Resci'ipt. 2 1 5 

2. Pliny could not have asked Trajan what was their 
crime, and how he should treat them, if he had conceived 
them to be a sodalitas. It had already been made abund- 
antly clear to him by repeated rescripts that Trajan would 
not permit the smallest infraction or exception to the law.* 

3. Pliny expressly mentions that the Christians had of 
their own accord given up a weekly meeting and a common 
meal, which would have constituted them a sodalitas, 

4. Trajan would not in his rescript have ordered Pliny 
to abstain from seeking out the Christians, if he had under- 
stood them to be a sodalitas. He regarded the prohibition 
oi sodalitates as a fundamental point in strong government 

8. Procedure. 
The question may suggest itself, if Pliny was acting 
on a principle of administration carried out by previous 
governors, whether of Bithynia or elsewhere, are we not 
obliged in accordance with what has just been stated, to 
conclude that he would have quoted the action of previous 
governors as justifying him ? The answer is clear. He 
does refer to it, and explains why he is uncertain as to its 
character : he had never taken part in investigations 
(cognitiones) of the case of Christians. Many points are 
involved in this short statement.! 

* Trajan would not permit the formation of a body of one hundred 
and fifty firemen in a great city like Nicomedeia(Epist. 7,2,, 34); he also 
forbade poor people to join together for a common meal at common 
expense (Epist. 102, 103). All such unions were dangerous, as liable 
to cause common action and to assume a political character. 

t The import of the phrase is, as a rule, disguised by the rendering 
" I have never been present at " such cases. The meaning in thic 
report is : " I never occupied such an official position as to be called 
on to decide or advise in the case of Christians, and therefore I am 
ignorant of the precise nature of the proceedings." 

2 1 6 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

In the first place, Pliny and Trajan were obviously well 
aware that such investigations were of ordinary occur- 

Secondly, these cases were coguitiones, not formal trials 
according to \diV^,judtcui. Pliny's experience as a lawyer 
had lain in ih^judicia before the centumviral courts, with a 
few political cases before the Senate. Cognitioites might 
indeed fall within the jurisdiction of the Senate and consuls ; 
but it seems pretty certain that trials of Christians were 
left to the Emperor or his delegates.! 

The Emperor often delegated such cognitiones, even in 
Rome, to the prefect of the city, and necessarily in the 
provinces to the governors. Pliny could not be fully 
cognisant of the law in such cases. He had not hitherto 
governed a province, nor had he been prefect of the city. 
The cognitiones held by the Emperor were conducted in 
private,! and only the result was known publicly. Pliny 

* As to the number of such cases, the words do not justify any 
inference. I cannot agree with Mr. Hardy, who says that Phny's 
statement proves conclusively that the trials of Christians had been 
neither frequent nor important, otherwise Pliny would not have been 
ignorant of their procedure. The. following paragraphs will prove 
that the inference is unjustifiable. 

t Hence almost all cases of Christians that we know of came 
before governors of provinces, prefects of the city, or the Emperors 
in person (see Mommsen, Historische Zeitschrift^ xxviii., p. 414). 

\ This was generally, and probably always, the case. See 
Mommsen, Rom. Staatsrccht, ii., p. 926, ed. ii. Mr. Furneaux is 
certainly wrong (Tacitus, A?i?ials^ vol. ii. p. 577) when he speaks of 
such standing qucestiones de Christianis as we have in Pliny's 
letter. The process agaii>st the Christians was invariably, so far 
as evidence goes, Imperial cognition, exercised personally by the 
Emperor or delegated to the ;prcefectus urbi or to the provincial 
governors. Judir.i7i?n before a qtcccstio was never employed. 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 2 1 7 

could not have been acquainted with the procedure in such 
cognitiones^ except as a member of the consilium^ which the 
emperors often employed for consultation. But though he 
had never actually taken part in such cases, he naturally, 
as a Roman lawyer and official, had a general idea of their 
character and procedure. 

In conducting these investigations Pliny followed a de- 
finite procedure. He put the question three times to each 
person, giving full opportunity of repentance. What was 
his reason for following this course ? 

A possible interpretation of his action is that he was, 
from motives of pure humanity, anxious to avoid inflict- 
ing the penalty of death. There is no doubt that this 
kind of action would be quite in accordance with his 
private character. But we must remember that Pliny in 
this case is the Roman magistrate and judge, and that he 
is a man in whom long experience as a lawyer and judge 
had rendered dominant and habitual the strict law-abiding 
spirit of the Roman. On the judicial bench Pliny was no 
longer the kind and generous, though rather weak and 
affected, man whom we see in his carefully studied letters ; 
he is the Roman officer, trained in the law-courts in the 
straitest Roman formalism and pragmatical spirit of minute 
legality. He had not the loftier character which could 
discern the spirit behind the letter of the' law. To him it 
was second nature to act according to the prescribed forms, 
and in this case we must assume that he did so. He indeed 
says that he had never before taken part in. such trials ; 
but, as we have already seen, this does not imply entire 
ignorance of the forms of procedure. It merely means 
that he did not feel himself complete master in this branch 
of law. He could trust his law to the extent of executing 

2i8 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

100 or 200 persons,* but when it came to a case of 
thousands he was not so confident. 

Moreover, PHny is here reporting his procedure to the 
Emperor, and there can be no doubt that he conceives him- 
self to be playing the strict official. Nothing could be 
more foreign to the Roman ideal than to allow that conduct 
on the tribunal should be influenced by individual emotions 
of compassion or humanity. Severity, degenerating even 
into cruelty, is characteristic of the best and most upright 
class of Roman governors : lenity, as a general rule, was the 
result only of weakness, of partiality, or of carelessness. 
Pliny certainly was most careful and conscientious ; and 
equally certainly he did not consider that his procedure 
would seem to the Emperor to imply weakness. We 
observe also that the same procedure obtained in numerous 
other trials of later date, which we cannot think were 
modelled after Pliny's example. The only possible 
hypothesis seems to be that Pliny was acting according 
to a standing procedure which had grown up through use 
and wont. A succession of governors and emperors, apply- 
ing the general view that Christianity was subversive of 
law and order, and acting with the same general inten- 
tion of maintaining law and order, had, with the usual 
legal constructiveness characteristic of the Romans, brought 
about a general procedure which had all the force of legal 

One objection which might perhaps suggest itself hardly 
deserves notice. If the procedure had already become 
habitual, how should Pliny require to consult the Emperor 
about it ? If any answer is needed after the above discussion 

* On the numbers see p. 220. 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 2 1 9 

of his position, we might quote the fact that in A.D. 177 
the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis consulted Marcus 
Aurelius, and received a rescript correcting his action in 
a fundamental point. Even Septimius Severus was pro- 
bably consulted by his delegates ; for his action towards the 
Christians took the form of one or more rescripts. The 
governors wished to act as the Emperor would act if he 
were present ; and hence in this matter, where details were 
left greatly to their individual judgment, they frequently 
asked advice. 

9. Additional Details. 

Some details must be noticed before we leave the subject. 
The regular morning meetings which Pliny speaks about, 
and which, as we know, must have been weekly meetings, 
were not abandoned, and Pliny obviously accepts them as 
strictly legal. Amid the strict regulations about societies, 
the Roman Government expressly allowed to all people 
the right of meeting for purely religious purposes.* The 
morning meeting of the Christians was religious ; but the 
evening meeting was social, including a common meal, and 
therefore constituted the Christian community a sodaliias. 
The Christians abandoned the illegal meeting, but con- 
tinued the legal one.f This fact is one of the utmost 
consequence. It sh gws__that_Jib£-_Qinstian communities 

* Unless, of course, the religion was a forbidden one ; but the 
Empire had quite given up in practice, though not in theory, the old 
objection to non-Roman religions as illicit. 

t Neumann indeed considers that the Christians suspended even 
the morning meeting for religious purposes. This seems not to be 
required by the Latin words, while it is inconsistent with the 
principles of the Christians to suppose that they discontinued their 
Sunday worship. 

2 20 The Church in the Roman Einpire. 

were c^uitealive to the necessity of acting according to the 
law, and of using the forms of the law to screen themselves 
as fa r^as-was consistenjLwith their principles. 

Pliny's language permits no inference as to the number 
of executions, and we are left entirely to individual 
estimate of probability. How many examples would be 
sufficient to produce the effect described by Pliny in re- 
storing the disused worship of the ancestral gods^ and 
reintroducing the disused temple ritual? 

Probably the history of the Church may show that I have 
not exaggerated in speaking of lOO or 200. If some sort of 
remote analogy may be found in the number of witches 
burned in Scotland at no very remote period, I may seem 
to have understated the probabilities. A certain lapse of 
time is also required to produce the effect described. 

It is also quite impossible to attain certainty as to 
Pliny's treatment of the confessors, whether he employed 
torture, or condemned them to be exposed in the amphi- 
theatre, or took the more merciful course of ordering them 
to instant execution.* Probably he would follow the 
usual course, which was to utilise condemned criminals for 
the public games. 

Trajan's letter to Pliny applied only to the single pro- 
vince. A copy, of course, was permanently preserved in 
the governor's office ; but in the ordinary course of events 
the document would not have any wider publicity or 
influence. Accident, however, gave this rescript an unusual 

* The latter is the ordinary, but not the necessary, sense of duct 
iussi. The phrase is perhaps used more generally, " I ordered them 
to be taken whither the law directed." The torture applied to the 
deaconesses was not punishment, but the preliminary required by 
the Roman law before the evidence of slaves could be accepted. 

X. Pliny s Report and Trojans Rescript. 2 2 1 

importance both in ancient and in modern times. It was 
published (of course by the Emperor's permission) after a 
few years in the collected correspondence of Pliny and 
Trajan. It thus reached a wider public ; and officials, 
who were always eager to act according to the imperial 
wishes, would take it as representing Trajan's settled 
policy. TertuUian was able to quote this letter ; whereas 
he merely refers by inference to the supposed reports of 
Pilate to Tiberius, and of Aurelius to the Senate, assuming 
that, if sought in the imperial archives, they may be found. 
The importance of Trajan's rescript is twofold, being due, 
partly to its internal character, partly to the chance which 
preserved it to our time. An entirely fictitious importance 
has been attached to it, as if it were the first imperial 
rescript about the Christians and defined for the first time 
the Imperial attitude towards them.* Its real importance 
is very different. It marks the end of the old system of 
uncompromising hostility. 

A question suggests itself which is of interest in esti- 
mating Pliny's character, but which does not directly bear on 
our purpose. Was his intention in consulting the Emperor 
merely to learn his views, or had he any wish and hope 
that the policy towards the Christians should be recon- 
sidered? Personally, I can feel no doubt that the latter 
alternative is correct. It would of course be unbecoming 
and unprofessional to hint that the imperial policy should 
be reconsidered ; but Pliny goes as far as he could go 
without directly suggesting it, and he has conceded to the 

* We need not doubt that anxious reports from many governors 
had reached Rome long ere this, coming especially from Asia 
Minor ; and that the matter had engaged the serious attention of 
the Emperors. 

222 The CJiurch in the Roman Empire. 

prevailing anti-Christian prejudice enough to avoid the 
appearance of hinting. The only respectful course for 
him was to profess ignorance, and ask for instructions; 
and thus we have the astonishing change in his attitude, 
that, beginning with unhesitating condemnation, he ends by 
addressing to the Emperor the charmingly simple question, 
" Am I to punish them for the Name, or for crimes co- 
existing with the Name ? " He apologises more for con- 
sulting the Emperor on this case, involving the lives of 
many thousands, than he does for any of the other ques- 
itons, many rather insignificant, which he addresses to 
him. The apology seems unsuitably elaborate ; and we 
cannot really appreciate the letter, till we understand 
that the writer is desirous to have the policy changed, 
and yet shrinks from seeming in any way to suggest a 

Considering the confidence which Trajan reposed in 
Pliny and the friendship he entertained for him, we shall 
not err in believing that this letter exercised some influ- 
ence on him. Trajan's reply inaugurated a policy milder 
in practice towards the Christians ; and it is a pleasant 
thought that a writer, whose life gives us a finer conception 
than any other of the character of the Roman gentleman 
under the Empire, should be, in the last months of his life, 
so closely identified with the change of policy and with the 
first step in the rapprochement between the Empire and 
the Church. 

lo. Recapitulation. 

In view of the importance and the complication of the 
subject, it will be convenient to sum up our results 
here : — 

X. Pliny s Report and Trajan s Rescript. 223 

T. There was no express law or formal edict against the 
Christians in particular. 

2. They were not prosecuted or punished for contravening 
any formal law of a wider character interpreted as applying 
to the Christians. 

3. They were judged and condemned by Pliny, with 
Trajan's full approval, by virtue of the iinperiurn delegated 
to him, and in accordance with the instructions issued to 
governors of provinces, to search out and punish sacrilegious 
persons, thieves, brigands, and kidnappers. 

4. They had before this been classed generically as 
outlaws (Jiostes publici)^ and enemies to the fundamental 
principles of society and government, of law and order ; 
and the admission of the Name Christian in itself entailed 

5. This treatment was accepted as a settled principle of 
the imperial policy, not established by the capricious action 
of a single Emperor. 

6. While Trajan felt bound to carry out the established 
principle, his personal view was opposed to it, at least to 
such an extent that he ordered Pliny to shut his eyes to the 
Christian offence, until his attention was expressly directed 
to an individual case by a formal accuser, who appeared 
openly to demand the interference of the imperial govern- 
ment against a malefactor. 

7. A definite form of procedure had established itself 
through use and wont. 

8. Pliny, when for the first time required to take part in 
such a case, used the regular procedure, either through 
his own general knowledge of a branch of official duty not 
specially familiar to him, or as following the advice of his 
consilium and the precedents which they might quote. 

2 24 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

II. Topography. 

The province which PHny governed, officially entitled 
BitJiynia et Pontus, was of very wide extent, reaching 
from the river Rhyndacos on the west to beyond Amisos 
on the east. The question suggests itself whether his 
experiences, with regard to the Chnstians, extended over 
the whole province, or was confined to part of it. Mommscn 
has shown that Pliny visited the eastern part of his province 
in the summer and autumn of 112, and that letters 96 and 
97 were written during this visit, perhaps from Amisos.* 
It is therefore clear that the events which led to Pliny's 
letter took place there, and that the description of the great 
power acquired by the new religion m the province applies 
to Eastern Pontus at least. But it would not be right to 
restrict his description to this part of the province. The 
general impression made by the letter is, that it describes 
a condition of things which was true of the province as 
a whole, and was not confined to a small district. Pliny 
speaks of the cities {civitates) in general as being much 
affected by Christianity. 

In the letter Pliny alludes to two distinct stages in his 
proceedings against the Christians. In the first stage he 
acted without hesitation, and had no thought of appealing 
to the Emperor for advice. But facts that came to his 
knowledge in the second stage led him to hesitate, and to 
stop further proceedings until he heard from the Emperor. 
We may, then, feel fairly confident that the second stage 
of the proceedings belonged to Eastern Pontus, and that 

* See Mommsen's paper on Pliny's life in Hermes, iii., p. 59. The 
letters which immediately precede and follow 96 and 97 were written 
from Amisos. 

X. Pliny s Report and T^^ajans Rescript. 225 

the two deaconesses whose eviderxce produced such an 
effect on PHny belonged to the church of Amisos, or of 
the immediate neighbourhood. This fact suggests some 
reflections on the geographical distribution of Christianity 
in the north of Asia Minor. 

We have seen, on page 10, that Amisos was the point on 
the north coast to which the new religion might naturally 
be expected to spread earliest. We now find that Amisos 
is the place where, in A.D. 112 or 113, renegades were found 
in considerable number ; and that some of these claimed 
to have abandoned that religion even twenty-five years 
previously. Christianity, therefore, was already of some 
standing in Amisos in A.D. 87 or 88. 

We have seen that in the earlier stage of the proceedings 
all the accused persons were confessors : renegades appeared 
only in the later stage in Eastern Pontus. This implies, 
probably, that in the western parts Christianity was more 
recent, and that greater boldness was required to be a 
Christian ; whereas about Amisos the religion had spread 
more widely, and was more powerful, so that there might 
even be advantages in belonging to such a strong and 
closely united sect. We are therefore again brought, by 
a new line of argument, to the conclusion that Amisos 
was the first city on the Black Sea to which Christianity 

As to the date when this took place, it was, on the one 
hand, some time before 87-88 ; and, on the other hand, it 
would naturally be later than the spread of Christianity 
along the main Eastern highway to Ephesus and other 
Asian cities, about 5 5-57. We may fairly place the entrance 
gf the new religion into Amisos about 65-75 A.D. 




WE have learned from Pliny that actions against the 
Christians had become habitual before the acces- 
sion of Trajan, and that a form of procedure had grown up. 
Neumann, though differing in some respects from our 
estimate of Pliny's evidence, is quite agreed on this point. 
The next question that comes up is, when did this habitual 
action originate. Neumann dates its origin in A.D. 95, and 
supposes it to be founded on an edict of the Emperor 
Domitian. But we have already seen that Pliny's action 
was not founded on any law or edict, but was that of 
a practical ruler and governor interpreting a fixed but 
unwritten principle of policy. Moreover, the opposition of 
the Empire is too settled and confirmed to be explained in 
this way. An edict of Domitian might be overturned by a 
word from Trajan ; * but Trajan clearly regarded the pro- 
scription of the Christians as a fundamental principle of the 
Imperial policy, which he did not choose, or shrank from 
trying, to alter. 

We cannot then accept Neumann's view, and must look 
for some more deep-seated reason for the hostility of the 
Empire to the new religion. Our authorities for the time 
of Domitian are so scanty that we are reduced to hypothesis 
about it ; and we have to go back to the reign of Nero to 
find another well-attested moment in the Imperial action. 

* See Mommsen, Staatsrecht, ii., p. 1069, ed. ii. 


XL Action of Nero towards Christians. 227 
I. Tacitus, Annals, xv. 44. 

In the famous chapter of Tacitus about the persecution 
of the Christians under Nero in 64 A.D., we have a docu- 
ment very different in character from Pliny's report to 
Trajan ; and the difficulties which face us in the attempt to 
estimate rightly its meaning and value are of a different 

1. It is written for publication, and composed with a 
view to literary effect ; and the question arises in several 
points, how much is to be attributed to rhetoric and how 
much to faithful description of the facts ? 

2. It is written more than fifty years after the events by 
an historian, who was a child when they took place, and 
who was entirely dependent on the evidence of others. 
In regard to many points, a doubt arises whether Tacitus 
may not have been attributing to the earlier period the 
knowledge and the feelings of the time when he was 
writing ; and it is at least certain that Tacitus could not, 
even if he tried, altogether free himself from the additional 
experiences of fifty years. He must write from a more 
developed point of view. 

Any question as to Tacitus' veracity in matters of fact 
need not trouble us. He certainly took the greatest care 
to seek out good authorities and to compare them with each 
other, and to state facts as they occurred.* 

Nor need we touch on the genuineness of the chapter. 

* The bias which undoubtedly exists in his work is founded on 
his inability even to see, much more to sympathise with, the finer 
sides of Imperial policy In matters of detail and fact he was a 
very careful investigator, and tried to be an accurate recorder, though 
his straining after literary effect often veils his description of facts. 

2 28 The Chtcrch in the Roman Empire. 

There have been, and perhaps always will be, occasional 
doubts ; but they belong to the curiosities of literature. 

As to the extent to which Tacitus' account is coloured 
by the circumstances of his own time, the most diverse 
opinions have been held. It has been maintained* that 
Tacitus took his materials for describing the Christians of 
Nero's time from the letter of Pliny, which we have just 
been discussing, that he adopted from him the term 
faiebanttir^ deepened Pliny's superstitlo prava immodica 
into superstitio exitiabilis, and used XhQ flagitza which Pliny 
speaks of as an explanation of the popular hatred of the 
Christians. Bauer has even used this theory as a proof 
that the letter of Pliny is genuine. 

In direct contradiction to this theory it has been stated t 
that "the ignorance of Tacitus on this subject is more 
remarkable because his friend Pliny had already learned 
the ways of Christians while governor in Asia Minor." 
This implies the view that Tacitus had strictly adhered to 
the ignorant accounts of contemporaries, and had intro- 
duced nothing of the knowledge which was possessed by 
some, at least, of his contemporaries.^: 

We shall neither accuse Tacitus of ignorance about what 

* By B. Bauer, Christus und die CcBsaren, 1877, p. z']}^. Not 
having access to the book, I follow the account given by Arnold, 
" Die neronische Christenverfolgung,^^ p. 105. 

t By Holbrooke, Tac. A??7t., note on xv. 44. 

X There can be no doubt that Tacitus possessed as much know- 
ledge of the Christians as any Roman did at this period, because 
( I ) he had been proconsul of Asia, the chief stronghold of Christianity, 
about 1 12-1 16, before he is believed to have composed the Annals 
(see the inscription of Mylasa quoted m Bull, de Corr. Hell., 1890, 
p. 621) ; (2) he is known to have taken great pains to collect evidence 
for his history, and to have consulted Pliny about another point in 
preparation for his earlier great work. 

XI, Action of Nero towards Christians. 229 

was known to Pliny, nor shall we credit him with thrusting 
Pliny's ideas into a period to which they were foreign. We 
shall try whether it be not possible to believe Tacitus, when 
he claims to be describing the state of public feeling and 
belief in A.D. 64 ; even though we also consider that he was 
probably quite aware of Pliny's investigation and its results. 
We hold that Tacitus wished and tried to describe the 
events of this year 64 and of other years as they occurred ; 
though we quite acknowledge that he could not divest 
himself of his knowledge, and could not possibly write 
exactly as he would have written if the Annals had been 
composed in the reign of Nero. 

It is not possible to determine the meaning of Tacitus' 
words with the same certainty as in the case of Pliny's 
letters. Here, as usual, the attempt to disentangle from 
the rhetoric of Tacitus the precise and exact facts which he 
is describing cannot be successful, for it is hardly possible 
to rise above individual subjective judgment, and attain an 
interpretation which shall be quite certain. In such a case 
it is of the first consequence to determine from independent 
witnesses, even to a small extent, the exact state of the 
facts. Several other writers have, on authority quite in- 
dependent of Tacitus, alluded to or described the action 
of Nero towards the Christians. The earliest of these is 
Clement of Rome, a contemporary and probably an eye- 
witness ; but his reference is too slight and general, and 
is not confined to this persecution alone. It will be con- 
sidered in a later chapter. 

2. The Evidence of Suetonius. 
The chief independent witness is Su etonius, who was 
certainly acquainted with the work of Tacitus, with whom 

230 TJie Church in the Roman Empire, 

he undoubtedly had personal acquaintance. He has 
apparently used and followed the authority of Tacitus in 
some few passages, * and it is a quite fair assumption that 
he was acquainted with Tacitus' view. Among a list 
of police regulations to ensure good order in Rome,t he 
mentions the punishment of the Christians, a class of 
persons characterised by a novel and mischievous super- 
stition. His list enumerates what he evidently considers 
as examples of good administration. They are all of the 
nature of permanent police regulations for maintaining 
order and good conduct. He mentions the sumptuary 
regulations, the institution of the sportula in place of the 
pnblica cena, the prohibition of the sale of any cooked food 
except vegetables in the cook shops, the infliction of punish- 
ments on Christians, the prohibition of the disorderly revels 
of the charioteers, etc. Every other regulation which is 
mentioned in the list is the permanent institution of a 
custom, or the lasting suppression of an abuse. It would be 
quite inconsistent with the others to introduce in the 
midst of them a statement which meant only that a number 
of Christians were executed on the charge of causing a 
fire. The fair and natural interpretation of Suetonius' 
words is, that he considered Nero to have maintained a 
steady prosecution of a mischievous class of persons, in 
virtue of his duty to maintain peace and order in the 

* See especially Vestas, § 4, where he speaks of the general 
expectation of the period that out of Judiea were to spring they that 
should rule the world. Cp. Tac, Hist., v. 13 ; Teuffel-Schwabe, 
rd?/i. Lzttcratur, § 347, 8 ; Arnold, "Die ncronische Christenver- 
/olgu?ig,'' p. 38. I shall have occasion often to quote, and sometimes 
to criticise, the latter useful monograph. 

t Ner ^ § 16. 

XL Action of Nero towards Christians, 231 

city, and to have intended that this prosecution should be 
permanent. Such a steady prosecution implies a permanent 
settled policy ; and if the chapter of Suetonius had been the 
only extant passage of a pagan writer referring to the 
subject, the view which is here stated would in all proba- 
bility have been universally accepted. As we see, this 
interpretation is in perfect harmony with all we have 
gathered from Pliny. 

Contrast with this Suetonius' account of the action 
taken by Claudius in the case of the disturbances which 
took place among the Jews in Rome about A.D. 52.* 
This measure, which is obviously a single act suited to a 
special occasion, and does not involve the institution of 
any general rule, is mentioned along with the taking away 
of freedom from Lycia, the giving of freedom to Rhodes, 
the remission of tribute of the Ilians, the permitting of the 
German ambassadors to sit beside the Armenian and 
Parthian envoys in the orchestra. The whole list is of the 
same kind, — individual and single exertions of authority in 
special cases. None of them involves a general principle or 
the institution of a permanent rule applicable to all cases of 
a class. 

Comparison of these two passages of Suetonius shows 
that he considered the action of Nero as different in cha- 
racter from that of Claudius. The latter expelled all Jews 
from Rome ; but, as we know from other authorities, this 
was a mere single isolated act, and involved no lasting 

* Claud., § 25, Here we have, according to the generally ac- 
cepted view, a proof that the Christians were still considered 
under Claudius to be a mere Jewish sect ; and dissensions between 
Christians and Jews were described in the authorities employed by 
Suetonius as " continued disturbances among the Jews." 

232 TJie Church in the Roman Empire. 

judgment. The former, on the contrary laid down a 
permanent principle regulating the attitude of the govern- 
ment towards the parties affected, viz., the Christians ; and 
this inference would certainly have been drawn by all 
historians had it not been for the authority of Tacitus, who 
has been interpreted as contradicting the view naturally 
suggested by Suetonius. Now, even if Tacitus' words 
were as strongly opposed to this view as is usually thought, 
it might be plausibly argued that Suetonius was almost 
certainly acquainted with Tacitus' opinion, and intention- 
ally dissents from it ; and, as he used excellent authorities, 
his express contradiction must be accepted. But I believe 
that Tacitus' description has in parts been misunderstood, 
and that there is no serious contradiction, but a slightly 
different and more detailed version of the same facts. 
Suetonius gives merely a brief statement of the permanent 
administrative principle into which Nero's action ultimately 
resolved itself. Tacitus prefixes to his account of the same 
result a description of the origin and gradual develop- 
ment of Nero's action ; and the picture which he draws is 
so impressive and so powerful as to concentrate attention, 
and withdraw the mind of the reader from the final stac^e 
and the implied result of the Emperor's action. 

3. First Stage in Nero's Action. 
Let us then turn to Tacitus' account, and try to dis- 
entangle the facts as they were conceived by him. To do 
so successfully, we must try as much as possible to look 
from Tacitus' point of view, and to assume the tone and 
the emotion with which he looked down from the lofty, 
serene height of philosophy on the toil, and zeal, and 
earnestness, and enthusiastic errors of miserable Christian. 

XL Action of Nero towards Christians. 233 

According to Tacitus, Nero wished to divert from him- 
self the indignation which was universally entertained 
against him as the author of the conflagration which 
destroyed great part of Rome in A.D. 64. He turned 
to his purpose the popular dislike of the new sect of 
fanatics, who were generally detested on account of the 
abominable crimes of which they were supposed to be 
guilty,* and who were nicknamed by the populace " Chris- 
tians." He laid the blame of the fire on them, as being 
enemies of society, eager to injure the city. 

The Christians, therefore, were sought out. Those first 
of all who openly confessed the charge of Christianity 
were hurried to trial. Then on the information elicited at 
their trial,! many others were involved in their fate,| far 

* Tacitus probably exaggerates the popular hatred (p. 346). 

t The word indiciiini is obviously not used in its strict sense of 
evidence given by a criminal who denounces his accomplices on 
promise of impunity, nor can we suppose that the first arrested 
Christians voluntarily called attention to others; hence we must 
understand information elicited from them during their trial. 

\ I see no reason either to adopt the almost universally accepted 
emendation co7ivictiior coniuncti^ or to have recourse to Boissier's 
awkward coniuncti 7-eperti sunt. Tacitus' rhetoric is responsible 
for the doubts. We must accept the MS. reading (corrected in all 
but the original and important MS.). Tacitus does not expressly 
state in precise terms that the accused were condemned : " they 
were hurried to trial ; they were executed with novel refinements 
of punishment." Had he said merely this he could not have been 
misunderstood ; all would have recognised the rhetorical device 
which leaves the essential point of condemnation to the reader, 
and hurries on to the final scene. But, in order to picture the 
hurry still more effectively, a sentence referring to a second class of 
criminals is interposed between the two clauses which describe the 
trial and the punishment respectively , and so we have the form : 
"First, some were tried; then others were involved in the same 
fate : they were executed," etc. Cuq alone prefers the MS. reading, 

234 ^^^^ CJmrch in the Roman Empire, 

less on the charge of incendiarism, than of hostility to society 
and hatred of the world.* Their punishment was turned 
into an amusement to divert the populace ; for example, 
they were made to play the part of Actseon torn by his 
dogs, or were fixed on crosses t to be set on fire, and to 
serve as torches at nightly festivities held in the Vatican 

4. Second Stage : Charge of Hostility to 


But the trials and punishments of the Christians con- 
tinued even after all pretence of connection with the fire 
had been abandoned. The safety of the people, it was 
argued, required that these enemies of society should be 

interpreting coniuncti 2.S a legal term in the sense of " called on to 
answer the same charge." Arnold, with some justice, protests 
against the technical term in this highly rhetorical passage. I 
should rather understand a bold Tacitean, not technical, but poetical 
usage, such as An?z., xiii. 17: JVox eadem necerti Britaniiici et 
rogu7n co7iiunxit (cp. Ann., vi. 26, iv. 57, ■i^'ht etc., for various bold 
uses of this verb). " They were put side by side with ' ' (or immediately 
after) "the first class of culprits." 

* Haud ;peri?ide is to be interpreted on the analogy of xiii. 21, 
where Agrippina, defending herself against Silana's accusation that 
she had plotted against her own son Nero, says neque ;proinde a 
^arentibus liberi quam ab iinpudica adulteri 7nutantur. " Parents 
are not so ready to change their children as a shameless woman 
like Silana is to change her lovers" — /.^., while Agrippina would not 
actually deny that parents occasionally turn away from their own 
children, the other case is infinitely more common. So here Tacitus 
is not prepared to assert that no one was actually involved in, and 
convicted on, the charge of incendiarism ; but the other charge was 
far more common. 

*' Arnold's alteration, su?it,yiammandi utque^ is, I think, a change 
in the right direction ; but the general sense is not doubtful, 

XL Action of Nero towards Christians. 235 

severely dealt with ; and more general charges of employing 
unlawful means to affect the minds of their victims among 
the people and turn them from the ways of their fathers, 
were brought against them, and easily proved. There can 
be no question that this action was at first popular with 
the mob. It furnished them with an object on which to 
direct for the moment the rage and frenzy aroused by the 
great fire ; and popular feeling was already against the 
Christians. But, as Tacitus emphatically says, and as Pliny 
afterwards attests, the judgment of the mob on the origin 
of the fire was not permanently blinded : Nero was the 
real culprit, and not these miserable victims. At last 
popular feeling veered round, and the Roman public began 
to feel compassion for the Christians. Guilty indeed they 
were, and well deserved was their punishment ; but the 
people thought that they were being exterminated rather 
to gratify the cruelty of an individual than from considera- 
tion of the common weal. 

On this interpretation we observe a remarkable analogy 
to the action of the English law-courts and people during 
the "Popish Plot" in 1679 — action which in respect of 
brutality, injustice, and unreasoning credulity, furnishes a 
fit parallel to the Neronian trials. We have first a frenzy 
of terror and rage against the Christians, who are tried on 
the charge of incendiarism. In the fear and excitement of 
the people, witnesses were easily found, and immediately 
believed. Soon, however, some variety in the accusations 
was needed, and this was supplied by the hatred of society 
{odium huinani generis), of which the Christians were uni- 
versally believed to be guilty. The new charge was 
obviously as easily proved and as readily credited as the 
first. But gradually popular feeling changed both in Rome 

236 TJie Church in the Roman Empire, 

in 64 and in England in 1679. The number of executions 
sated the people, and a reaction occurred. 

To understand the development of Nero's action, it is 
necessary to conceive clearly and precisely what is meant 
by the hatred of the world with which the Christians were 
charged {odatm Juniiani generis). It was not the mere 
abstract emotion of which they were accused, but the 
actions in which that emotion manifested itself To the 
Romans genus Jinnianuni meant, not mankind in general, 
but the Roman world — men who lived according to Roman 
manners and laws ; the rest of the human race were enemies 
and barbarians. The Christians then were enemies to 
civilised man and to the customs and laws which regulated 
civilised society. They were bent on relaxing the bonds 
that held society together ; they introduced divisions into 
families, and set children against their parents ; and this end 
they attained by nefarious means, working on the minds of 
their devotees by magical arts.* All this they did with a 
view to practise their abominable crimes (^flagitid) more 
freely. So elastic an accusation was easily proved in the 
excited state of popular feeling. The Christians were in 
I truth hostile to certain customs practised freely in Roman 
society, but considered by them as vicious or irreligious ; 
and the principle was readily admitted that he that is an 
enemy to a part is an enemy to the whole. The Christians 

* Odium, humani generis was, as Arnold aptly points out, the 
crime of poisoners and magicians, p. 2-^, n. i. The punishments 
inflicted on the Christians under Nero are those ordered for magicians. 
Paullus, Sente7it. V. 23, 17, '' Magicce artis co7iscios su7nmo supplicio 
affici placuit, id est, bestiis obici aut cruci suffigi. Ipsi autem 
■magi vivi exuruntu7\'^ Constantine ordered that feralis pestis 
absu7nat those who used magic arts {Cod. Theodos., ix. 16, 5); and 
also that haruspices should be burned {ib. ix. 16, i). 

XL Action of Nero tozvards Christians. 237 

were bent on destroying civilisation, and civilisation must 
in self-defence destroy them.* 

The crime of employing magical arts to compass their 
nefarious purposes was closely connected with this, and 
was even more easily proved. The extraordinary influence 
which the new religion acquired over its votaries, the 
marvellous reformation which it wrought in its converts, 
the enthusiastic devotion and unbending resolution of the 
whole body, were all proofs that supernatural means and 
forbidden arts were employed. 

Tacitus has been criticised on the ground that there is no 
authority to prove that such flagitia were attributed to the 
Christians earlier than the second century. 

Putting out of sight that in i Peter ii. 12, "they speak 
against you as evildoers," f these popular accusations are 
distinctly referred to, we may reply that numerous historical 
examples show that such crimes were likely to be attributed 
to the private meetings of the Christians from the begin- 
ning. It is a real difficulty to understand how Fronto, the 
monitor of Marcus Aurelius, could credit these flagitia ; \ 
but there is needed no proof that Tacitus is right in attri- 
buting the belief to the vulgar of the year 64. We find in 
his words a strong proof that he is giving the views held 
in 64, and not those which he himself entertained. We 
need not suppose that so careful an investigator credited 
them, especially as he so carefully and specially restricts 
the belief to the vulgar and the past. 

* In this connection the phrase utilitate -publica is important. 
Obviously Nero assigned the common interest as the reason for his 
continued persecution of the Christians. 

t KaToKakovvri^ v\t.wv ws KaKonoicov. 

% According to the representation of his words by Minucius Felix, 
Oct. 9 and 31, 

238 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

5. Crime which the Christians Confessed. 

Some other points in Tacitus' description need a word. 
As to the words qui fatebantur, what crime did they con- 
fess ? Arnold understands that they acknowledged the 
charge of incendiarism, and gave information against other 
Christians as guilty of the same crime. Credat Judceus 
Apella : to me this seems absolutely incredible ; and the 
suggestion which Arnold makes that the Christians were 
partially implicated in, or at least privy to, the criminal act 
appears impossible. Moreover, this view is contrary to the 
recorded facts. If so many of the Christians acknowledged 
the crime on their trial and denounced others, their com- 
plicity in the crime would necessarily have been accepted 
by the popular opinion. But Arnold himself shows clearly 
that the popular opinion remained ultimately unshaken 
about the author of the fire, and that the revulsion of 
popular feeling which finally occurred was due to the 
growing conviction that the Christians were innocent and 
ill-treated. Such a conviction could never have grown 
up if the Christians had in numbers confessed the crime. 

The difficulty, which requires from Arnold seven pages 
of examination, seems to arise entirely from the compression 
of Tacitus' style, and to disappear as soon as we make 
explicit the thought which is in his mind, and which he 
expects his readers to have in their minds — viz., " The 
Christians were sought out." Assuming this step as implied 
in the context, * Tacitus then proceeds, " Those who ac- 

* This thought is implied in the brief introductory sentence : 
abolendo rumor i Nero subdidit reos et ;pcents affecit Christtanos ; 
j^rimum correpti qui fatebantur. This is the sequence of the 

XL Action of Nero towards Ch'istians. 239 

knowledged the charge (of being Christians) were hurried to 
trial." The form of expression, assuming, but not making 
explicit in words, a thought implied in the circumstances, 
is quite in the style of Tacitus. 

There is here implied, precisely as in Pliny's letter, a 
distinction between two classes of Christians — those who 
made no secret of their religion, but openly professed, and, 
we may perhaps add, taught and preached it, and those 
who were not known to their neighbours as Christians. 
We may safely conclude that the latter were the great 
majority. It is clear that in outward appearance they 
must have avoided all show of difference from their pagan 
neighbours. Situated as they were in the midst of a society 
where numberless little acts of life daily expressed respect 
for the common religion, these persons must in outward 
show have conformed with the common fashion and the 
ordinary usages of politeness, though strictly taken such 
usages implied belief in an idolatrous worship.* It is of 
course well known that much controversy existed in the 
Church during the early centuries as to how far such con- 
formity with the usages and conventions of society was 
right or permissible ; and it is obviously a very delicate 
point, on which considerable difference of honest opinion 
is sure to exist, as to where such conformity ceases to be 
mere compliance with polite conventions, and becomes an 
acknowledgment of false religion. 

narrative, for all that is interposed between Christia7tos 3ind.;przmu7n 
is a parenthetical description of the Christians. When the parenthesis 
is omitted, the sense oifatebanfur is clear. Hardly any one before 
Arnold felt a difficulty. 

* For example, the pagan formula D(is) M(anibus) was sometimes 
used on Christian graves. See below, p. 435f. 

240 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

6. Character, Duration, and Extent of the 
Neronian Persecution. 

The analogy between the narrative of Tacitus and that 
of Pliny is great ; * but the inference drawn from it that 
Tacitus coloured his narrative through his knowledge of 
the situation in the second century is incorrect. There is 
an even more striking analogy in certain respects between 
the conduct of Pliny and that of the governor of Gallia 
Lugdunensis in A.D. I77.t In each case the resemblance 
is due to the essential similarity in the circumstances, and 
not to the colour imparted by the narrator. 

In the words of Tacitus, taken by themselves, there is 
nothing to suggest that the prosecution of the Christians 
continued for several years ; but at the same time there 
is nothing inconsistent with this conclusion, which was 
suggested by the words of Suetonius. As we have seen, 
Tacitus asserts that the larger number (as the passage has 
been interpreted above, the far larger number) of the 
V accused must have been condemned on the ground ot 
hatred of the world and hostility to society. This went on 
till the Roman populace was sick of it, and began to pity 
the sufferers. Here we have the one expression in the 
whole paragraph that can safely be used as an indication of 

* Besides the points mentioned already in this chapter {fate- 
bantur, indicia, Jlagitid) Tacitus uses the phrase su^erstitio 
exitiabilis, V\\x\y super stitio j^rava iviinodica. 

t See above, p. 204. The similarity would certainly be much more 
striking if we had the report addressed by the governor to Marcus 
Aurelius ; but we only know the situation as it aopeared to the 
Christians in Lugdunum. 

XI. Action of Nero towards Christians. 241 

the extent of the persecution. The phrase ingens multitudo 
alone might quite well be interpreted, in a writer like 
Tacitus, as indicating that the number arrested and tried 
was great in view of the charge — viz., incendiarism, in 
which, as a rule, only a small number of persons are 
likely to unite. But it can have been no inconsiderable 
number and no short period which brought satiety to a 
populace accustomed to find their greatest amusement in 
public butcheries, frequently recurring on a colossal scale. 
Accordingly those writers who would minimise the whole 
occurrence and treat it as the execution of a few Jews, find 
this statement a difficulty. Schiller treats it as absolutely 
false and incredible ; and he considers that any novelty or 
intensification of cruelty in the form of execution would be 
only an additional amusement to the jaded nerves of the 
mob.* It certainly is a statement well deserving of careful 
thought; but probably few will agree with Schiller in think- 
ing it absolutely incredible that the Roman populace could 
ever grow tired of butchery, or could ever feel that a 
persecuted class had been unfairly treated. It must, how- 
ever, be confessed that there is no third alternative. Either 
Schiller is right and the statement incredible, or else there 
must have been a great and long-continued massacre. 

On these grounds we conclude that if Tacitus has 
correctly represented his authorities, the persecution of 
Nero, begun for the sake of diverting popular attention, 
was continued as a permanent police measure under the 
form of a general prosecution of Christians as a sect 
dangerous to the public safety. 

* Schiller, Gesch. d, Kaiserreichs unter der Regierung des 
Nero, p. 437. I quote it from Arnold, not_having access to the book. 


242 The Church in the Roman Einpire, 

7. Principle of Nero's Action. 

As wc have seen, Pliny implies that the attitude of the 
Government towards the Christians was governed by a 
principle which was already in existence before Trajan's 
time. The next question that awaits us is whether the 
principle is the same as that introduced by Nero. 

The answer must be in the negative. Pliny and Trajan 
both assume that Christianity is in itself a crime deserving 
of death. No question is asked, no investigation is made^ 
about crimes committed by the Christians ; the acknow- 
ledgment of the Name entails immediate condemnation. 
But under Nero it is otherwise. The trial is held, and the 
condemnation is pronounced, in respect not of the Name, 
but of serious offences naturally connected with the Name 
{^flagitia coJicerentia nomhii). These offences are, in the 
first place, incendiarism, and secondly, hostility to civilised 
society, which, as we saw, implied the practice of magic 
and tampering with the established customs of society. 

Now we can admit that a certain rhetorical manner veils 
the bare facts in Tacitus's narrative ; but we cannot admit 
that he has seriously misrepresented them. We have 
founded our interpretation on the view that he is accurate 
and trustworthy, and we cannot now abandon it. 

The action which he attributes to Nero is essentially 
different from the practice of Trajan's time. Tacitus was 
familiar with the later practice ; and, since he describes 
Nero's action as different from it, we must conclude that 
he is following older authorities. Unless they had been 
conclusive on this point, he would naturally have de- 
scribed the action of Nero as similar to that of his own 

XL Action of IVero towards Christians. 243 

The chapter of Tacitus describes the action of A.D. 64 ; 
and Nero reigned four years longer. Now the development 
is easy from the stage described by Tacitus (in which proof 
is required that an accused Christian has committed some 
act of hostility to society) to the further stage implied by 
Pliny (in which it is assumed that Christians are all guilty 
of such hostility, and may be condemned offhand on con- 
fession of the Name). Was this further step taken in the 
later years of Nero, and mentioned, as we must then sup- 
pose, by Tacitus in a later chapter ? 

Within the reign of Nero there is hardly enough time 
for such a development. The persecution began in 64, and 
it was obviously at an end when Nero left Rome towards 
the end of 66^ It had been continued by the Emperor 
after the people had become sick of it ; and when his 
personal influence was withdrawn, it can hardly have con- 
tinued. Flavius Sabinus, who was prefect of the city at 
the time, was not a person likely to urge it on actively, and 
the populace was opposed to it. 

It is true that Sulpicius Severus, whose account of the 
Neronian persecution is founded on Tacitus, and stated 
almost in his words, proceeds, " This was the beginning of 
severe measures against the Christians. Afterwards the 
religion was forbidden by formal laws, and the profession 
of Christianity was made illegal by published edicts."t 
But the value of this late evidence depends entirely on its 

* This does not mean that executions of Christians ceased entirely, 
but that they were sporadic. The fact remains always that Chris- 
tianity, as a disturbing influence, was opposed and punished by the 
State, whenever anything- of a marked character drew the attention 
of the Government to it. 

t Chron., ii. 29. 

244 '^^^^ Church in the Roman Empiric. 

source ; and there can be no doubt that this author's 
account of the Neronian persecution has no authority, 
except in so far as he quotes from Tacitus. Now this 
statement was certainly not founded on anything that was 
said in the Annals ; for the chapter, xv. 44, has the 
appearance of summing up the whole subject of Nero's 
attitude towards the Christians, and there seems to be no 
opportunity for Tacitus to resume it in the conclusion of 
the work.* 

There are then only two alternatives in regard to the 
statement of Sulpicius Severus. Either it is a pure ampli- 
fication of his own, inconsistent with Tacitus and possessing 
no authority, or it must be interpreted as referring to the 
action of subsequent emperors. I incline to the latter 
alternative. Sulpicius having described the beginning of 
persecution under Nero, adds a sentence briefly describing 
the repressive measures, more marked in theory, but not 
more terrible in action, which were decreed by later 

But, as we have inferred from Suetonius, Nero introduced 
the principle of punishing the Christians. Is the account 
given by Tacitus consistent with this ? The answer must 
be affirmative. In any single trial the general principle 
must have been laid down that certain acts, which all 
Christians were regularly guilty of, were worthy of death. 
Even after Nero left Rome, the prefect of the city would 

* The extant part of the Annals brings down the history till the 
summer or autumn of 66. Before the end of 66 Nero went away to 
Greece, and only returned in 68, just in time to hear of the revolt 
of Vindex. During the few weeks of his reign that remained, his 
attention must have been absorbed with more pressing needs than 
the trials of Christians. 

XI. Action of Nero towards CJuHstians. 245 

be bound to follow the example set by the Emperor ; for 
it would be treason to dispute or disregard it* 

When Nero had once established the principle in Rome, 
his action served as a precedent in every province. There 
is no need to suppose a general edict or a formal law. The 
precedent would be quoted in every case where a Christian 
was accused. Charges such as had been brought against 
Paul in so many places were certainly brought frequently 
against others ; and the action of the Emperor in Rome 
would give the tone to the action of the provincial governors. 

We conclude, therefore, that between 68 and 96 the 
attitude of the State towards the Christians was more 
clearly defined, and that the process was changed, so that 
proof of definite crimes committed by the Christians 
{flagitia cohcerentia noniiiii) was no longer required, but 
acknowledgment of the Name alone sufficed for condemna- 
tion. Nero treats a great many Christians as criminals, 
and punishes them for their crimes. Pliny and Trajan 
treat them as outlaws and brigands, and punish them 
without a reference to crimes. 

8. Evidence of Christian Documents. 

Finally, we have to ask what is the evidence of contem- 
porary Christian documents. In the Apocalypse and in 
First Peter the development has taken place, and Christians 
suffer for the Name. Both these documents have been 
referred to this period, the former by many recent critics, 

* If the widely entertained opinion, that St. Paul was executed 
in A.D. 67 or 68, be rig-ht, we have an example of the trials which 
took place during Nero's absence before one of his delegates, 
probably the prefect of the city. 

246 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

the latter by tradition, which supposes St. Peter to have 
perished in the Neronian persecution. But in the following 
chapter we shall try to show that both belong to the latter 
part of the first century. As to the other documents of 
this period (admitting, as we do, the authenticity of the 
Pastoral Epistles), we find in them no hint about persecution 
for the Name. Persecution is indeed alluded to as imminent 
on all ; but it is not an organised persecution directed by 
the Government, nor do we find explicit references to 
punishment for the Name simply. The advice given by 
St. Paul as to the relations of the Christians to the society 
in which they are placed, is always in accordance with the 
situation which we have described as occupied by them 
under Nero. They should avoid, as far as is consistent 
with religion, the appearance of interfering with the pre- 
sent social order. The proper rule of life is to accept the 
world's facts, not as in themselves right, but as indifferent, 
and to waste no time and thought on them. Slaves must be 
obedient. In society Christians are to observe the courtesies 
of life, though these had often a religious appearance. 

The most developed and pointed expressions in Paul 
are perhaps i Tim. vi. i, where slaves are counselled to 
" count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the 
name of God and the doctrine be not blasphemed," and 
Titus ii. 4, 5, where the young women are advised to 
maintain strictly the proper relations of family life, " that 
the word of God be not blasphemed." In both cases the 
position of Christians in pagan households is not merely 
not excluded, but is even the prominent idea.* The es- 

* In the former passage heathen masters are expressly meant, 
for Christian masters are distinguished in the next verse. In the 
latter the analogy of i Peter iii. i shows what the true significance is. 

XL Action of Ahro towards Christians. 247 

tablished social order must, where possible, be respected, for 
any vain interference with it will give rise to calumnies 
and accusations against the Christians who bear the name 
of God, and against the doctrine which they teach. 

James ii. 6 stands on the same plane as the passage 
which has just been quoted from i Timothy : " Do not the 
rich persecute you, and themselves drag you before the 
judgment-seats? Do not they blaspheme the honourable 
name by the which ye are called?" Here and in i Tim. vi. i, 
the name is not spoken of in the tone used twenty years 
later, when it becomes almost a technical formula.* The 
danger about 65-70 is that calumnies and false charges be 
circulated, and the Christians tried for these imputed crimes. 
In such trials recantation is not sought for, and would be 
no palliation of the crimes charged against the Christians. 

All these familiar passages suit the close of the Neronian 
period, as we have described it. It would, however, require 
a special chapter to go over the Epistles of Paul from this 
point of view, and to show their agreement with the facts 
Vv^hich we have elicited from Tacitus and Suetonius. As in 
all early Christian literature, the persecutions to which the 
Christians are liable occupy much less space than might 
perhaps be expected ; only in a passing word or an obscure 
implication is any attention paid to them. But through 
the period that engages our attention paucity of references 
to persecutions can never be taken as a proof that none 
were going on. Probably " the doctrine *' would never have 
surmounted them, if the attention of its teachers had been 
much given to them. 

* That stage is marked in these pages by using the capital. 
James, strictly, does not bear on our present subject, see p. 349. 

248 The CJmrch in the Roman Empire. 

Incidentally we may here note that the tone of the 
Pastoral Epistles in this respect is consistent only with an 
early date. It is difficult for the historian of the Empire 
to admit that they were composed after that development 
of the Imperial policy towards the Christians which oc- 
curred (as we shall see in. the following chapter) under the 
Flavian Emperors. 

But as this remark touches on a keenly controverted 
point, a little more space may fitly be devoted to the sub- 
ject. I take Holtzmann's Pastoralbriefe, p. 267, as the 
most complete statement of the opposite view, that the 
references to persecution denote a late date towards the 
middle of the second century.* 

The seeking out of the Christians (Siwf/?, Buoy/uLOf;) is 
alluded to in 2 Tim. iii. 12 (Sia^x^W^^'^^O > but it was 
practised from the first day of the Neronian persecution. 
The suffering of affliction and persecution (fcaKoiradelu) is 
the lot of all Christians (2 Tim. iii. 12, etc.) ; but the kind 
of suffering is expressly defined as the same to which Paul 
himself was exposed, and Holtzmann cannot surely be 
serious when he quotes these passages as a proof of a 
second century date (2 Tim. iii. 11, iv. 17, 18). There 
were some who showed cowardice, and shrank from en- 
during the persecution ; but we need not ask for proof that 
recantation occurred in Nero's time, as well as in the 
second or the third century. The suffering is endured by 

* Among Holtzmann's indications of later date, none appear 
strong. An analogy to Apuleius does not tell much in favour of 
the date he assigns, 1 12-150. Every analogy to anything men- 
tioned in later literature is taken, most uncritically and unhistori- 
cally, as a proof that an early date is impossible. Such analogies 
often merely prove general similarity in the situation ; see p. 204-5. 

XL Action of Nero toivards Christians. 249 

the Christian as if he were a malefactor, and this treatment 
is complained of as unjust ' (2 Tim. ii. 9) ; but that is 
exactly the tone of the Neronian period, and the Greek 
word KaKOvp^o'i: refers expressly to the flagitia^ for which 
the Christians were condemned under Nero, and for which 
they were no longer condemned in A.D. 1 12. Finally 
Holtzmann quotes rightly the analogy between I Peter ii. 12 
and I Tim. vi. i, Titus ii. 5,* and between i Peter iv. 15 and 
2 Tim. ii. 9. But it is precisely these verses in i Peter which 
mark that epistle as retaining traces of earlier feeling, and 
as standing in the transition from the Neronian period to 
the formulated persecution of the Flavian period, when 
the Name is explicitly prohibited. Moreover, the Jlagitia 
were a standing reproach in all periods. 

Holtzmann appeals to the use of ^aaiXet^ in the plural 
in I Tim. ii. 2, as a proof that conjoint emperors were 
reigning at the time. It is undoubtedly true that the use 
of the plural often furnishes an excellent and conclusive 
criterion of date. On this ground we may probably date 
the Acta of Carpus and Papylus, the True Word of 
Celsus, and several other documents, in the joint reign 
of M. Aurelius and L. Verus. Even though the singular 
paaCkev^ be used in the same document, the argument is 
still valid ; for the singular was the ordinary usage, into 
which a writer was apt to slip.f This rule can be proved 

* B\a(rcprjixe7v is used in Clement, Epist.^ § 47 ; but that is no proof 
that the Epistles to Timothy were composed at the same time as 
Clement's letter to the Corinthians. I do not know what date 
Holtzmann assigns to Clement's Epistle^ or whether he quotes this 
analogy as a proof of the date of Timothy. 

t I cannot therefore agree with the inference that Lightfoot draws 
from the use of the singular by Celsus. See his Ignat. and FalyCf 
i* P- 530> 593 ^} edition II. 

250 The Chu7^ch in the Roman Empire, 

by the usage of Athenagoras, and many other writers.* 
But the case is quite different in i Tim. ii. 2 ; the writer 
directs that a general rule be observed to pray "for all 
men ; for kings and all that are in high place." The term 
paaiXewv without the article cannot be understood as de- 
noting " the emperors who are reigning at the present 
time ; " it means " emperors (or sovereigns) in general." 

Where any definite information has reached us, we find 
that the accusations made against the Christians through- 
out the reigns of Claudius and Nero are, as a rule, of the 
type just described — e.g., at Philippi, " these men set forth 
customs which it is not lawful for us to receive or observe, 
•being Romans " (Acts xvi. 21) ; at Thessalonica "they that 
have turned the world upside down." On the other hand, 
where the accusation was a purely religious one — as at 
Corinth, " this man persuadeth men to worship God con- 
trary to the law "(Acts xviii. 13) — the Roman governor 
refused to listen to a charge that was not on " a matter of 
wrong or of wicked villany." So St. Paul's judges in Pales- 
tine agreed that there was no real charge against him, and 
that, if he had not appealed to the Emperor, he might 
have been set free. 

One charge especially, which soon afterwards became a 
standing one and the regular test and touchstone of perse- 
cution, is never alluded to under Nero : this was the refusal 
to comply with the established and official worship of the 
emperors. That religion, though widely and willingly 
practised in the provinces, was not yet explicitly adopted 
by the State as a political institution. Disrespect to the 

* Many of the cases are rightly quoted by Holtzmann, p. 269 ; see 
also Neumann, p. 58 n. 

XI. Action of Nero toivards Christians. 251 

Emperor had indeed already been treated in Rome as 
treason {inajestas, daefieca) ; but there is no evidence that 
as yet this charge had been brought against the Christians,* 
or that compHance with the rites of the Imperial religion 
was formally proposed to them as the test of their faith. 
That treatment belongs to the later period, and marks the 
stage when they are condemned for the Name, and when 
their death constitutes them " Witnesses " {fjuaprupe^) to 
the Name. Under Nero they are not martyrs in the strict 
sense ; they are only sufferers. 

The action of Nero inaugurates a new era in the relation 
of the Empire towards Christianity ; or, to speak more 
precisely, the Empire then for the first time adopted a 
definite attitude towards the new religion. So says Sue- 
tonius, and Tacitus does not disagree. Hitherto the Roman 
officials had, on the whole, treated the Christians with 
indifference, or even with favour mingled with contempt 
(see p. 133). Where they acted harshly, eith er they were | 
influenced hv the enmity of influential Jews, or they punished ^ » 


the Christians as beinp^ cor^ ^^ ected with disturba nces, which 
were due in whole or in part to their presence and action. 
But after 64 A.D. the example set by the Emperor necessarily 
guided the action of all Roman officials towards the Chris- 
tians. _ As yet, however, the religion was not in itself a 

* Treason is, indeed, involved in the charge at Thessalonica : 
"These all act contrary to the decrees of Csesar, saying that there 
is another King, one Jesus." But this and similar instances are 
quite different in type from the charge of treason founded on refusal 
to worship the Emperor. They belong to an early period, before the 
charge had been formulated in its developed shape. ,^ fyC/^i* 



DURING the two years that immediately followed the 
death of Nero, the anarchy and confusion of the 
struggle for power would naturally prevent any development 
in the Imperial policy. The attention of the rival emperors 
and of the governors of provinces must have been almost 
entirely concentrated on the great struggle ; and none but 
the most pressing business of government can have been 
attended to. We thus reach the year 70, when the Flavian 
dynasty was firmly settled in power. Here unfortunately 
we lose the guidance of Tacitus, whose Histories of the 
Flavian period would have doubtless cleared away the 
obscurity which envelops this critical time in the relations 
of the Church to the Empire. We possess only the brief 
biographies of Suetonius, which are personal studies, not 
formal history, Xiphilin's epitome of the history of Dion 
Cassius, and various other even poorer documents. In the 
dearth of contemporary and trustworthy authorities we are 
compelled, unless we leave this period a blank, to have 
recourse to hypothesis. The development in the State 
action, which has been alluded to on p. 242, must fall 
between 70 and 96. What can we learn or conjecture 

about the way in which it took place ? 


XII. Flavian Policy toivards the Church. 253 

I. Tacitus' Conception of the Flavian Policy. 

It will serve our purpose best to begin by considering 
the attitude of Tacitus as a historian towards the Christians. 
In Annals^ xv. 44, he introduces them into his pages.* 
After mentioning the names popularly applied to them and 
the hatred popularly entertained towards them, he describes 
their origin and early history. From this elaborate and 
careful introduction we may infer, first, that Tacitus, with 
the fuller knowledge of their importance as a factor in 
Roman history which he possessed in A.D. I20,t considered 
this to be the moment when they entered on the stage of 
his history ; and, second, that the carefulness and parade 
with which the new factor is introduced mark the entrance 
of a figure which is to play some important part in the 
tragedy.^ In the conclusion of the Annals^ as we have 
seen, this figure can have played no part ; but in the 
Histories there can be no doubt that the Christians were 
mentioned several times. Although this work is lost, except 
for the years 68-70, we have in the pages of Sulpicius 
Severus, as has been proved by Bernays,§ an epitome 
of one important passage. This fourth century writer used 
Tacitus carefully : he made extracts almost verbatim from 
the account of the Neronian persecution in the Annals ^ 

* In the Histories ^ which were written before the Annals, the 

Christians were certainly mentioned as a developed sect. Tacitus 
wrote the Annals to lead up to the completed Histories. 

t Taking this as a rough date for the composition of Annals, xv. 

X We must remember that in the ancient plays every important 
figure is formally introduced to the audience at its first appearance. 

§ See his paper, a masterpiece of analysis, iiber die CJironik des 
Sulpicius Severus, republished in his Gesammelte Abhandlungen. 

2 54 T^^^ Church in the Roman Empire. 

XV. 44 ; and Bernays has discussed his relation to Taoltus, 
and has shown that there are strong signs of a Tacitean 
origin in Sulpicius' narrative of the council of war, which 
was held after the capture of Jerusalem. In this council 
different opinions were expressed. Some thought that the 
temple should be left uninjured. Others, and among them 
Titus himself, expressed the view that the Temple especially 
ought to be destroyed, in order that the religions * of the 
Jews and of the Christians might be more completely 
extirpated ; for these religions, though opposed to each 
other, had yet the same origin. The Christians had arisen 
from amongst the Jews ; and, when the root was torn up, 
the stem would easily be destroyed. 

This speech cannot be supposed to embody the actual 
words of Titus. Very probably it was composed by 
Tacitus himself ; but its importance is even greater in that 
case, for it would then embody the historian's mature 
conception of the nature of the Flavian policy towards the 
Christians, as shown in the whole course of their rule. 
Whether then it gives an abstract of Titus' actual speech, 
reported by some member of the council, or was composed 
by Tacitus, it is a historical document of the utmost 
importance, and we must examine it carefully. In Titus' 
speech the difference between Judaism and Christianity is 
fully recognised ; but the fact is not grasped that the 
latter was quite independent of the Temple and of 
Jerusalem as a centre. Titus had only a superficial know- 
ledge of the Christians and their principles, gained entirely 
from his experience in Palestine ; and the circumstances of 

* Tacitus, of course, called them superstitiones^ but Sulpicius 
altered the term to religiones. 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 255 

Palestinian Christianity quite explain his idea of its con- 
nexion with the Temple. 

Further/Titus regarded both the Jewish and the Christian 
religions as evils to be extirpated ; but he believed that 
they had a local home and centre, with which their organisa- 
tion was connected and on which they were dependent. 

The hypothesis is inevitably forced on us that, when 
Christianity was found to be independent of a centre 
at Jerusalem, and to flourish unchecked after the Temple 
was destroyed, the enmity that underlies the speech 
of Titus would be carried into vigorous action. If that 
were not so, the speech of Titus loses all its force and 
appropriateness ; but, if our hypothesis as to the subse- 
quent policy is correct, his speech appears as a fitting and 
dramatic introduction, worthily put into the mouth of 
the conqueror of Jerusalem. In the following books 
Tacitus would show how the emperors, when settled in 
Rome, and masters of the information about the Christians 
contained in the Imperial archives and steadily accumu- 
lating during their reign, resumed the Neronian vigour of 

* The passage in which Severus describes the subsequent de- 
velopment of Nero's policy towards the Christians has been quoted 
above (p. 243) ; and Bernays has taught us how much use that 
chronicler made of Tacitus. Is he in this passage, with its reference 
to laws and edicts, giving his own general impression derived from 
the Histories of Tacitus ? It is possible that he is ; but if so, we 
must take exception to the words edicts and laws. We must hold 
that Sulpicius uses these terms loosely and inaccurately ; and 
perhaps a chronicler of the fourth century was quite as likely to 
use the words loosely, as we have found some modern writers to 
be, even while they aim at scrupulous and rigid accuracy, (See 
above, p. 194.) 

256 The CJmrch in the Roman Empire. 

Mommscn also is strongly inclined to the opinion that 
the account of the council of war which Sulpicius Severus 
gives (flatly contradicted as it is by the contemporary 
Jewish historian Josephus), is derived from Tacitus ; and he 
unreservedly adopts the view, that " the Jewish insurrection 
had too clearly brought to light the dangers involved in 
this formation of a national religious union — on the one 
hand rigidly concentrated, on the other spreading over the 
whole East, and having ramifications even in the West."* 

2. Confirmation of Nero's Policy by Vespasian. 

Our hypothesis is that this development took place 
under Vespasian, after some years of his reign had elapsed. 
But the brief remainder of his reign, and the short reign of 
Titus, did not impress themselves on the memory of the 
Christians.t Hence Domitian alone was remembered as the 
persecutor, ranking along with Nero ; and the execration 
and condemnation, which were deserved by his personal 
character and conduct in other respects, have been ap- 
portioned to him in the popular memory of Christian times 
on account of a policy to which he was only the heir. His 
action was not due to his personal idiosyncracies ; it was 

* Provi?tces, ii., p. 216. I have slightly altered the printed trans- 

t But of course there probably were, even in the interval 
68-75 A.D., isolated cases of accusation and trial, and, no doubt, 
condemnation, of Christians. The reference of Hilary to a persecu- 
tion under Vespasian is only a slip in expression. A writer of the 
fourth century, who enumerates as three types of the persecutor 
Nero, Vespasian, and Decius, must not be quoted as a witness to 
a persecution under Vespasian (as is hesitatingly done byLightfoot, 
Ignat. a7td Pol., i., p. 15). He meant Domitian, who was the 
second type. 

XIL Flavian Policy towards the ChurcJi. 257 

the natural development of the Imperial policy, and the 
facts and reasons on which it was founded were stored in 
the Imperial archives, and were, of course, consulted by- 
Trajan before he replied to Pliny. It is possible that a 
reference to Vespasian's actions occurs in a mutilated 
passage of Suetonius, where it is said that " never in the 
death of any one did Vespasian [take pleasure, and in 
the case of] merited punishments he even wept and 
groaned."* The words in brackets are restored to fill 
up an obvious gap in the text of the MSS. ; but this 
restoration is not sufficient We have here indubitably 
a reference to some class or individuals, whose punish- 
ment Vespasian felt himself compelled to accept while 
he regretted it ; for it is inconceivable that Vespasian, 
a Roman, a soldier of long experience in the bloody 
wars of Britain and Judea, wept and groaned at every 
" merited " execution, as the restored text would imply. 
We think of the punishments which by the principle 
of Nero attached to the Christians ; we saw from the 
way in which Suetonius mentioned Nero's measure that 
he considered it a good one ; he uses the same term 
supplicia in both places. Does not the second passage 
{Vesp. 15) look back to the ^xsXiJSfero 16), and is not 
Suetonius here continuing in his own way the same 
subject ? t A more detailed reference did not enter into his 

* Suetonius, Vesp.^ 15. JSfeque ccede cuiusqziam umquam 
\J.(Btatus est et'\ iustis suppliciis inlacrimavit etiaTn et ingetnuit. 
Some fill the gap with the single word Icetatus, but neque at the 
beginning looks forward necessarily to et following. 

t This suggestion is so obvious that I have no doubt it has been 
already made, 


258 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

plan. The principle was instituted by Nero. It continued 
permanently ; and Suetonius would, according to his usual 
practice, not again allude to it, were it not for the detail, 
interesting to a biographer, that Vespasian wept while he 
confirmed its operation. 

What form did the confirmation take? As yet Nero's 
principle was merely unwritten law, according to which the 
governors, when any case came before them, judged it 
according to the precedent set them by the Emperor. The 
punishment of Christians was administrative, not judicial. 
The same character continues to attach to it under the 
I Flavian Emperors and under Trajan (see p. 207). Hence 
we need not suppose that any edict or law was passed ; only 
rescripts were issued to inquiring governors. But such 
repressive measures could not remain in the form which 
1^ Nero gave them : they must develop to their logical con- 
clusion ; and the followers of a sect, whose tendency was to 
unsettle the foundations and principles of Roman society, 
were held as outlaws, and the very name treated as a crime. 
Such seems the natural course foreshadowed in the speech 
which the great historian puts into the mouth of Titus ; and 
such is the state of administrative procedure, when Pliny 
was first called on to conduct cognitiones in the case of 

If the theory just stated be not accepted, the only 
possible alternative seems to be that under Nero the 
attitude of the Roman State towards the Christians was 
determined finally. We have rejected this alternative 
(see p. 243), for Tacltus's evidence on the point is conclusive 
against it, though the weight of Suetonius' evidence is 
rather in its favour. 

XII , Flavian Policy towards the Church. 259 

3. The Persecution of Domitian. 

It may safely be asserted that it is only the date of 
the proscription which is hypothetical ; its occurrence at 
some time before the downfall of the Flavian dynasty is 
certain. The persecution of Domitian burned itself 
ineradicably into the memory of history ; it may be 
doubted by the critic, but not by the historian. He that 
has only an eye for details, that " sees hairs and pores, 
examines bit by bit," will always find the evidence 
defective for almost every detail and fact of the per- 
secution. But the historian who can discern 

" How parts relate to parts, or they to whole, 
The body's harmony, the beaming soul," 

can never feel any doubt as to the general character of ' 
Domitian's action towards the Christians, and will always 
see in it the same type of absolute proscription of the 
Name, which was taken by Pliny and Trajan as pre- ; 
determined. So strong and early a tradition as that which 
constitutes Domitian the second great persecutor cannot 
be discredited without wrecking the foundations of ancient 
history. Those who discredit it must, to be consistent, 
resolve to dismiss nine-tenths of what appears in books 
as ancient history, including most that is interesting and 

It is urged that it was the interest of the Christians to 
represent the two worst emperors, Nero and Domitian, as 
the two great persecutors ; and therefore their evidence is 
dismissed as unworthy of credit. Pliny tortured the two 
Christian deaconesses, before he would accept their 
evidence ; but he applied the same process to heathen 

26o The Church in the Roman Empire. 

slaves. To be consistent let us apply the same standard 
to all our authorities ; and we then must begin with 
Thucydides, who had the strongest motives for misrepre- 
senting the Athenian policy. If it were contended that 
ancient history as a whole is uncertain and unknowable, no 
reply need be made ; but the same measure must be applied 
to it throughout ; and on the ordinary standards of history, 
Domitian's persecution is as certain as that of Nero.* 

The only passage in which any pagan writer mentions 
punishments inflicted by Domitian for religious reasons, 
occurs in the Epitome of the history of Dion Cassius, made 
in the eleventh century by the monk Xiphilin. Dion 
mentioned that Flavins Clemens, consul A.D. 95 and 
cousin of the Emperor, anci his wife Flavia Domltilla, 
niece of the Emperor, were tried on a charge of sacrilege^ 
(a^eoT?;?).! Clemens was executed, and Domitilla was 
banished. A great many others were put to death or 
deprived of their property on the same charge, among 

* Schiller is consistent in disbelieving the evidence for both. He 
considers that aQ^orr]^ and daelSeia are used indifferently in this period 
as translations of the Latin impietas^ which quite explains his con- 
sistent scepticism. If we take from the words of the ancient his- 
torians only such vague and loose ideas as a schoolboy gets from 
his lexicon, we cannot find much evidence in them. See his Gesch. 
der rbm. Kaiser zeit, i., p. 537. Neumann (pp. 14 and 17) points 
out the stricter sense in which these Greek terms were used. 

t Neumann (p. 17) has observed that this is the technical sense 
of the word d^forTjy. We might at first expect that ao-€/3eta would 
be the rendering of the Latin sacrilegium ; but it was pre-occupied 
as the translation of majestas. The word Upocrvkla, which was in 
earlier times [e.g., Acts xix. 37) used to represent sacrilegiumy was 
too loose a rendering; and the use of this old term in Acta Fault 
et Theklae (see p. 401) stamps the episode in which it occurs as 

,' // 

XII , Flavian Policy towards the Church. 261 

Ihcm being Acilius Glabrio, consul in A.D. 91, who had 
after his consulship been sent into exile. Dion mentions 
that the persons against whom this charge was brought 
had gone astray after the manners of the Tews. We see, 
therefore, that a number of Roman citizens had changed 
their religion, and that the charge on which they were tried 
was sacrilege. 

The first question which has to be determined is what 
was the religion which these Romans had adopted. Was 
it Judaism or Christianity, or did some adopt one religion, 
some another ? 

It is certain that Clemens and Domitilla suffered as 
Christians. The evidence is complete and conclusive, and 
there is practical agreement on almost all hands among 
modern writers on this point.* 

The question as to Acilius Glabrio's religion is more 
difficult, and opinion is much more divided. But in the 
account given by Dion it is difficult to separate his offence 

* Domitilla' s memory as a martyr was preserved, and the cata- 
comb on the Ardeatine Way, where she was buried, was called 
afterwards by her name. It is known from inscriptions that the 
ground in which this catacomb was situated belonged to her. De 
Rossi's discoveries on this point will be found most conveniently 
summarised in Lightfoot's Clement, i., p. 35 £f. Eusebius mentions 
that Domitilla was a Christian {H. E., iii. 18, and Chron., pp. 
162-3, a-nno 2 112). Christian tradition speaks of both Clemens 
and Domitilla as Christian, and Syncellus, p. 650 (Bonn edition), 
records this (the divergent accounts of Domitilla's relationship are 
explained, probably rightly, by Lightfoot) ; while the Christianity ot 
Clemens is not so well attested as that of Domitilla, there is at least 
no doubt that suspicions of this contributed to cause his trial and 
prompted the charges on which he was condemned. The Acta 
Nerci et Achillei also attests the fact of their religion. On 
Suetonius' view, see below, p. 271. 

262 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

from that of Clemens and the others.* Dion reported by 
Xiphilin is not a very high authority ; but, so far as his 
evidence goes, it is that Acilius belonged to the same class 
of criminals as Clemens and others,t and that they were 
Christians. Moreover, when we read of De Rossi's recent 
excavations, we can hardly refuse to follow Dion. De 
Rossi found that the original centre of a group of cata- 
combs beside the Via Salaria consisted of a gamma-shaped 
crypt attached to a small chapel. In the chapel was buried 
the person who gave sanctity to the whole group of cata- 
combs, and near whom other Christians wished to repose.| 
The crypt was the burial-place of the family on whose 
property the chapel and the series of catacombs were 
situated, and to which apparently the person buried in 
the chapel belonged. The fragmentary inscriptions found 
here hardly leave room for doubt that the family was that 
of the Acilii Glabriones. Who then was buried in the 

* Lightfoot's attempt to separate them seems to me to be un- 
successful. {Cle?n.y i., p. 81, n. 6.) 

t An additional charge was brought against Acilius, of having 
fought in the arena during his consulship, and thus (we may infer) 
injured the " majesty " of Rome. He was, therefore, accused both 
of sacrilege and treason. 

X The eager desire of the Christians to be buried near the grave 
of some saint or martyr (^•^;^^//i- martyribus sociari) is a well-known 
and widely prevalent fact. (See Le Blant, Suppl. aux Actes des 
Martyrs, p. z']!.) In this case, of course, there is no certain proof 
that the saint or martyr, who was buried in the chapel, belonged to 
the family which owned the land. Many cases occurred where a 
martyr's body was bought or taken by Christians not of his kindred. 
Several are mentioned in extant Acta. (See Le Blant, p. 282.) 
But the probability is, of course, strong that the Acilii obtained the 
body of their own relative, and made it the central point of a new 
family sepulchre. The comparison of Dion with the discoveries 
of De Rossi makes the case verv strong, but not conclusive. 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 263 

chapel ? Surely we may, with Dion, connect the charge 
against Acilius with that against Clemens and Domitilla, 
and consider that the body of the consul of 91 was 
brought back from his place of exile, and buried in Rome. 
It was the regular practice to leave the corpses of criminals 
free to their friends to tend and bury. 

Those persons who are actually named by Dion as having 
perished on the charge of going astray after Jewish cus- 
toms prove therefor^o be Christians. Taking his words 
in connection with the persistent tradition about Domitian's 
persecution, we cannot doubt that in A.D. 95 many Roman 
citizens were put to death on suspicion of being Christians, 
or at least of being connected with Christians, 

4. Bias of Dion Cassius. 

In the next place we have to face the question, why 
then does Dion speak only of Jewish manners ? This fact 
ceases to present any serious difficulty when we observe 
that he seems to have studiously refrained throughout his 
history from referring explicitly to the Christians.* 

This silence is obviously intentional. When Dion wrote in 
the third century, the Christians were of course perfectly 
well known ; and there were many occasions on which an 
unbiassed historian must have alluded to them. Whether 
Dion approved or disapproved of them, it was undeniable 

* The name occurs three times in Xiphilin's epitome, but in each 
case he is plainly supplementing Dion from other authorities. It 
may be taken as certain that Xiphilin would not omit any reference 
to the Christians that occurred in Dion. He found none, but 
introduces references from other sources where he felt bound to 
complete Dion. The evidence deduced from Zonaras, who also 
used Dion confirms this conclusion. 

264 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

that they had been a factor of some consequence in the State 
from the time of Nero onwards. His silence may be com- 
pared with the peculiar language of ^lius Aristides, who also 
makes a Jpoint of not naming the Christians, though he 
mentions " them in Palestine," in a passage where I cannot 
doubt that the Christians are at least included in the general 
description.* It was apparently a fashion and an affectation 
among a certain class of Greek men of letters about 160-240 
to ignore the existence of the Christians, and to pretend to 
confuse them with the Jews. These high-souled philosophic 
Greeks would not even know the name, for it was a solecism 
to use such a vulgar and barbarian word as "KpLGTiavo^. 

We conclude then that Dion was biassed, and that his 
attitude as an historian has a certain leaning which we 
must always make allowance for in estimating his testi- 
mony. In regard to the events of A.D. 95, we see that 
it would be quite in his style to describe the crime of 
Christians by the vague phrase " manners of the J cm s " ; 
and we therefore can find in his words no serious discrepancy 
with the inference which has been drawn from the individual 
cases mentioned by him. 

5. Difference of Policy towards Jews and 

On the other hand, if we take Dion's phrase to imply 
that he considered Clemens, Acilius, and many others to 
have been put to death for becoming Jewish proselytes, we 
are involved in insuperable difficulties, and must reject his 
evidence as wholly incredible. It is in itself improbable that 

* Or.^ xlvi. Trpos nXarcom VTrep tcoj/ r^T-rapfjiv^ vol. ii., p. 394 ff. (ed. 
Dindorf). Tills much-controverted passage is discussed more fully 
below, p. 351 ff. 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 265 

many Romans had become Jewish proselytes ; and it is diffi- 
cult to account for the entire failure of corroborative evidence. 
A disposition among some classes of Romans to coquet with 
Jewish habits is indeed attested ; but it was not carried to 
a degree which would render Dion's account probable. 

It is true that under Domitian the Jews suffered much 
extortionate and harsh treatment. The Jewish poll-tax, 
which since the Jewish war, 67-70 A.D,, had been levied for 
the benefit of Capitoline Jupiter, was exacted with great 
severity. Proselytes, who strictly were not liable, and 
persons of Jewish origin, who had given up their faith,* 
are said to have been compelled to pay. The exaction 
was accompanied with much hardship, with insult, and even 
with violence to the person of suspects. f But the object 
was to enrich the treasury ; for after the enormous ex- 
travagance of Nero, finance became one of the most im- 
portant concerns of the Imperial policy. Hence it was 
that the poll-tax was levied from as many as possible ; but 
for this very reason there appears to have been no slaying 
of Jews. Finance and not religion dictated the action 
towards them ; and potential taxpayers would not be 
slain by a needy government, except in rare cases as a 
warning to others to pay more readily.| 

* The whole history of the Jewish race precludes us from the 
supposition that these Jews had apostatised to pagarxism. They 
can have been only Jewish Christians,-^Vi \-JXJ^ \_^ ^^x^L-tJ^ V'V^ ♦ 

t The extreme violence which was applied to reluctant taxpayers 
is described by M. Le Blant in his Actes des Martyrs, p. 162 ff. 

X See the passage quoted in preceding note. Schiller, i., p. 537, 
on the contrary, considers that the intention was to weaken the 
numbers and power of the Jews : Dass die Regierung durch 
Erhohung und strenge Beitreibimg der Jiideiisteuer in Rom selbst 
die Juden zic decimieren und zu controllieren suchte. 

266 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Finally, another alternative remains for consideration— 
viz., that Christians and Jews were in A.D. 95 still confused 
with each other by the Romans, and that Dion (who of 
course was well aware of the difference between them) 
merely retained the phrase employed by his authorities. 
In that case the whole view which we have taken as to 
the attitude of the State towards the Christians during 
the first century is shown to be erroneous. Many high 
authorities have maintained that the Imperial Government 
continued till the time of Pliny and Trajan to consider 
Christians as a mere sect of the Jews, to speak about both 
as Jews, and to treat both in the same way. Neumann 
has correctly observed that this view is inconsistent with 
the spirit of Pliny's and Trajan's letters ; but he only moves 
back a few years the discovery of the Christians by the 
Government. He thinks it certain that the Christians were 
reckoned by the Roman Government to be a mere sect of 
the Jews down to the reign of Domitian ; or even if their 
existence was known, the same regulations applied to them 
as to the Jews.* The question as to the attitude of the 
Government towards the Christians had not yet been raised. 
Hitherto, indeed, the Christians had been affected along 
with the Jews by occasional measures directed against the 
latter ; but on the whole they lived in freedom, protected 
by the screen of the legalised Jewish religion. Even under 
Domitian, Neumann considers that for a time the Christians 
were still classed among the Jews, and compelled to pay 
the Jewish poll-tax, and that the strict exaction of the tax 
revealed to the Government the extent to which Christianity 
had spread. In the last year but one of Domitian's reign it 

* Neumann, p. 5 ff., p. 14 ff. 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 267 

was decided that the propagation of the Jewish -Christian 
religion should be restrained by the law. The Jews, on the 
other hand, were still tolerated, but Jewish proselytising 
was forbidden. 

We cannot admit that the Roman Government did not 
begin until A.D. 95 to understand that Christians were not • 
a mere sect of the Jews, and to consider what should be its 
policy towards the former. The following reasons seem 
conclusive against Neumann's view. 

(i) The nature of the Imperial Government, the ability 
with which it was conducted, the success which it attained 
in Romanising the provinces, are inconsistent with the 
supposition that it continued until A.D. 95 so ignorant about 
the Christians. The remarkable success of their provincial 
administration could not have been achieved without in- 
timate knowledge of the provincial peoples and manners.' 
The correspondence of Pliny shows how carefully the 
ways of the people were reported to the Emperor ; and 
all such information was certainly collected and preserved 
in the Imperial archives. It seems almost as absurd to say 
that the Imperial policy treated Christians until 95 under 
the mistaken idea that they were Jews, as it would be for 
some historian of future ages to argue that the British 
Government continued until the twentieth century to mix 
up the Brahmo Somaj with Brahminism. This a priori 
argument, however, must yield if evidence is against it. 
What then is the evidence ? 

\ (2) The evidence of the historians, where accessible, is that 
Christians were distinguished by the Government and the 
populace as early as A.D. 64. Tacitus and Suetonius are 
agreed on this point. Again we saw that in A.D. 70 
(according to Tacitus probably) Titus was familiar with 

268 The Cluirch in the Roman Empire, 

the distinction. Before 79 an idle person could write on a 
Pompcian wall the name of the Christians. The facts 
indeed are few, but all (with the one exception of Dion's 
phrase) are on one side. On the other side there is mere 
theory, supported by Dion's words. 

(3) The treatment of the Jews was quite different from 
that which, as we have seen, was employed towards the 
Christians. The Jewish religion had always been recognised 
as legal by the Imperial policy ; and the Jews were released 
from all duties which were contrary to their religion. Even 
the great rebellion, A.D. 67-70, entailed no essential change. 
The religion continued to be legal, and no Jew was required 
to do anything contrary to it (p. 355). It is true that the 
old temple-tax was now levied as tribute to the temple 
of Capitoline Jupiter ; and this exaction gave rise to heart- 
burning among the Jews and harsh usage at the hands of 
the collectors. But, when once the tax was paid, the Jew 
was free to worship as he pleased. Harsh taxation was not 
inconsistent with religious toleration. (See p. 265.) 

6. The Executions of a.d. 95 an Incident of the 

General Policy. 

While we have to differ from Neumann on this point, we 
find him in other respects quite agreed with the view which 
we have taken as to the executions of A.D. 95. They were 
the result of action by the State against the Christians on 
the ground of their religion. We cannot, however, consider 
that these executions are by themselves sufficient to 
explain the persistent tradition which makes Domitian the 
second great persecutor, or to account for the facts which 
will be further described in the following chapter. 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 269 

The execution and banishment of Christians in A.D. 95, 
so far as the record in Dion goes, would appear to have 
been confined to Roman citizens. The obvious explanation 
of this is that mere execution of ordinary Christians was 
not mentioned by Dion any more than he would mention 
the execution of so many thieves. The attitude of the 
State towards the Christians during the Flavian period 
cannot be better described than in the words of Mommsen : 
" The persecution of the Christians was a standing matter, 
as was that of robbers." * It was inherent in the nature of 
the Imperial constitution that it should stamp out Christi- 
anity, just as it was inherent in its nature that it should 
stamp out brigandage. The desultory and fitful nature of 
the persecutions arose naturally from the situation. The 
repression of brigandage was as uncertain as the repression 
of Christianity. Both were permanent evils ; and some 
governors made more or less energetic attempts to carry out 
completely the fundamental principle which proscribed both, 
while others made little or no attempt to cope with either. 
Many governors boasted, or were anxious to boast, that 
they had brought back from their province their lictors' 
axes unstained with blood, f Under their rule little can 
have been done to punish either Christians or brigands. 
The Imperial system was inconsistent with the Christian 
principles of life and society ; collision between them was 
inevitable. The actual moment when the collision first 
took place was due to accident — viz., to the position of Nero 
in regard to the popular feeling in A.D. 64 ; but sooner or 
later it had to take place. Other circumstances determined 

* Provinces of the Roman Emph'e, ii., p. 199, of the translation, 
t See Le Blant, Actes des Martyrs, p. 127. 

270 The Church in the Roman E7npire. 

the precise year of the collision, but the nature of the two 
powers determined its necessity. 

Dion then would have defended his silence about the 
Christians in general on the ground that they were as far 
beneath the notice of history as were thieves and other 
malefactors. Only when Roman citizens were involved 
did it enter into his plan to allude to the proceedings. 
But much may be gathered from what he does record ; and 
we may fairly ask what would be done to non-Romans, if 
noble citizens, consuls and relatives of the Emperor, were 
put to death on the charge of being Christians? A formal 
trial must be granted to all Romans, in which the exact 
accusation was plainly stated, and the character and degree 
of the crime considered in the sentence ; but that gives no 
reason for thinking that a similar careful trial would be 
accorded to non-Romans. In their case the magistrate 
simply made the investigation necessary for attaining 
certainty about the facts, and forthwith exercised on the 
parties the powers that belonged to him as the guardian of 
law and order. The charge against these Romans in A.D. 
95 was sacrilege. Now Mommsen has shown conclusively 
that there was no regular process in Roman law for trying 
such a crime ; and the trial therefore could not be before 
an ordinary qucestio. A special procedure was required, 
and there can be no doubt that it was of the following 
character : the Emperor judged at least the case of his own 
relatives, and as the ultimate source and arbiter of right 
he pronounced the fitting decision, or as the supreme 
magistrate he took what steps he thought right to vindicate 
propriety and order. But no allusion seems to have been 
made to crimes connected with, or springing out of, Christi- 
anity ; the trials were directly concerned with the religion 

XI I . Flavian Policy towards the Church. 271 

of the accused ; and the fact that Romans had become 
Christians was reckoned as sacrilege and punished with 
death. This decision of the supreme fountain of law and 
right must, when applied by magistrates to the case of 
non-Romans, have taken the form according to which Pliny 
in his first cognitiones acted, and which he understood to be 
already settled. 

We need not consider that the trials of A.D. 95 were the 
first that Domitian (or his delegates) held. The only 
reason why we hear of them is that persons of such high 
rank were implicated. 

7. Evidence of Suetonius about the Executions 

OF A.D. 95. 

Suetonius also mentions the execution of Flavius 
Clemens and Acilius Glabrio. His references, though 
disappointingly brief, are sufficient to show that the 
account given in Xiphilin's Epitome of Dion is neither 
complete nor entirely trustworthy. Suetonius evidently 
considered that the reason for the execution of both lay 
in Domitian's dread of conspiracy and treason. We have 
seen, even in Xiphilin's bald version, that Acilius must have 
been accused of treason as well as sacrilege ; and Suetonius 
declares that he was put to death on a charge of fomenting 
disturbance or revolution.* About Clemens he only says 
that Domitian suddenly, on a very light suspicion, put him 
to death ; but the context shows beyond a doubt that the 
suspicion was that Clemens was plotting. What is the 

* Quasi molitores reru7n novarum. The word quasi, in a 
writer of Suetonius' period, does not imply a false appearance, but 
a real ground of accusation. 

272 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

relation between this charge of treason and conspiracy, as 
related by Suetonius, and the charge of sacrilege, which 
Dion (as represented by Xiphilin) considered to be the 
chief part of the accusation ? Are the two accounts flatly 
contradictory, or do they present two different aspects of 
the same fact? We have seen that the two accounts of 
Nero's persecution, by Tacitus and by Suetonius, complete 
each other; and we shall find that the same is the case 
with the different accounts of Dion and Suetonius. 

Throughout the first century, one of the chief motives in 
the policy of the emperors within the city was dread of con- 
spiracy among the Roman nobles in favour of a rival. Under 
the Flavian dynasty it was especially among the philoso- 
phers, and those nobles whose tastes lay in that direction, 
that conspiracy was feared. The philosophic temperament 
was connected with preservation of the memory of the old 
Roman republic, and with thoughts of freedom and un- 
willingness to submit to despotism. Even interest in past 
history was considered a dangerous symptom, and Tacitus 
is said to have felt it unsafe to write while Domitian lived. 
This policy was carried to an extreme by Domitian, who 
expelled the teachers of philosophy from Rome about A.D. 
93, and put to death many of the Romans who had shown 
philosophic interests ; but it did not originate in mere 
capricious tyranny. It was the permanent Flavian policy, 
and an example of its effect appeared in the execution of 
Helvidius Priscus by Vespasian. 

Now there is great probability that, in the middle and 
end of the first century, many of the philosophic class 
among the Roman nobles took an interest in the specula- 
tions and doctrines of Jews and Christians and of the East 
in general. That Seneca had some slight acquaintance 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 273 

with Christian teaching appears to be plain from his 
writings, though it would be as absurd to say that he ever 
had any inclination towards Christianity as it would be to 
say that the extant correspondence of Paul and Seneca is 
genuine. So long as philosophy retained its spirit of 
opposition to the Government, and asserted the right of the 
individual against absolute despotism, it had a certain 
affinity with the position of Christianity in the Empire. 
Hence it came about that an inclination towards the 
doctrines of Christianity was a mark of the class which 
Domitian most dreaded, and an interest in foreign religions 
became a point in the accusations brought against many 
Roman nobles whose attitude had roused his suspicion. 
To Suetonius the important point in these trials was the 
general fact of suspected conspiracy, whereas in Xiphilin's 
version one isolated detail, referring to religion, (in which 
the monk was interested), is mentioned alone. But even 
in Xiphilin we see that treason (the crime of injuring 
the majestas of the State) must have been included in 
the charge against Acilius ; and at an earlier point in 
his Epitome he made it clear that the exile into which 
Acilius had been sent several years before was due to 
that cause exclusively. Domitian's suspicions were roused 
by certain omens which had happened to Acilius during 
his consulship, A.D. 91.* 

These considerations explain Suetonius' phrase about 
the death of Flavius Clemens. The groundless suspicion 
on which he was executed was of conspiracy ; and the 

* It is true that the same prodigies happened to his colleague in 
the consulship, Trajan, who was not banished ; but we have too Httle 
information to enable us to understand why " one should be taken 
and the other left." 


2 74 1^^^ Church in the Roman Empire. 

" utterly contemptible indolence," which according to 
Suetonius characterised him, would appear to the historian 
a sufficient disproof of the suspicion. 

But it must be admitted that Suetonius' words are not 
consistent with the idea that he was aware of Clemens 
being a Christian. We must then conclude that Clemens 
had been able to preserve the secret of his religion, and 
that Suetonius did not think it had been proved ; * and 
Lightfoot is in all probability correct in saying that the 
" indolence " of Clemens was " the result of his equivocal 
position." By avoiding public duties to the utmost, he 
escaped showing his reluctance to comply with the pagan 
ceremonies constantly required of public officials, and 
thus incurred the charge of indolence. 

8. The Flavian Action was Political in 


The comparison of the scanty records, then, points to the 
view that the real motive of the Flavian policy towards the 
Christian was political, and not religious. The Christians 
were a politically dangerous body ; and, if that be so, the 
danger must have lain especially in the fact that they were 
an ojrganised and united body. It is therefore inaccurate 
to speak of the Flavian action as directed against the 
Christians. That phrase might be used about Nero, but the 
Flavian action was, if we can trust our inferences from the 

* Probably Dion also did not believe that the charges brought 
by Domitian against Clemens, Acilius, and others had been proved. 
They profited in the eyes of the later Romans by the general belief 
that Domitian* s action had been that of a jealous and groundlessly 
suspicious tyrant 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 275 

authorities, directed against the Church as an organised 

One of the marked features of the reign of Domitian is 
the attention which he devoted to the restoration of the 
national cultus.f In this respect his policy was the same 
as that of Augustus ; and, like him, he looked on the 
Imperial cultus as part of the national religion. He 
himself delighted to be identified with Jupiter, and to be 
idolised as the Divine Providence in human form ; and it 
is recorded that Caligula, Domitian, and Diocletian were 
the three emperors who delighted to be styled dominus et 
deus. Though a certain element of individual caprice is 
discernible in the extent to which Domitian pushed the 
personal reference, yet the policy is not peculiar to him, 
but was a fixed and highly important part of the general 
Imperial policy, which treated religion as a part of the 
machinery of government. In this point of view, refusal 
to comply with the prescribed forms of respect to the 
Emperor was a refusal to be a member of the Roman unity, 
and constituted disloyalty and treason. As we have 
already seen, Pliny found the procedure already established 
that a charge of Christianity should be tested by calling on 
the accused to perform the ceremonies of loyal service and 
worship to the Emperor. Christianity was disloyalty; and, 
conversely, the mere rendering of the duties of loyalty 
disproved Christianity. 

The scanty evidence which we have found, therefore, 
seems to point to the view that Christianity was, under 
Domitian, treated as treasonable. This implies that the 

* This point is of the utmost importance in our subject, and will 
engage further attention in Chapter XV. 
t See Schiller, Geschichte, i., p. 536. 

276 The Church in the Roman Empire. 


trials now assumed a new form. Individual Christians 
were no longer proved guilty of acts which showed hostility 
to the existing system of society ; but the whole principles 
and constitution of the sect were condemned as hostile to 
the established order, and mere membership of the sect, if 
persisted in, was reckoned as treasonable. The Christians, 
as a body were outlaws, and were treated as such as soon 
as their adherence to the sect was recognised ; and the trial 
was conducted only with the view of establishing the fact 
that the accused persons were Christians. Such was the 
cognitio which Pliny applied as a regular process to the first 
cases that were brought before him. 

We have not found the slightest reference to this aspect 
of the case against the Christians in the case of Nero's 
action ; * and we can hardly suppose that, if the action had 
assumed that character, Tacitus would have given the 
account which we read in Annals, xv. 44. Alike as 
historian and as proconsul of Asia, he must have been 
aware of the later character of procedure against the 
Christians ; and, if he so pointedly describes Nero's action 
as being of a different character, we must infer that he 
had found good reason to consider that the procedure with 
which he was familiar had been developed and systematised 
at a later time. Suetonius, on the other hand, in his brief 
allusion, lays stress only on the fact that the permanent 

* It is true also that we have as yet no complete proof that under 
Domitian procedure against the Christians had assumed this aspect ; 
but we have no detailed account in the latter case, as we have in 
regard to Nero, and the evidence does show that some reference to 
religion was made by Domitian. The Christian authorities quoted 
in the following chapter prove that his action had assumed fully the 
character which we find in Pliny. 

XII. Flavian Policy towards the Church. 277 

principle of condemning Christians originated under Nero, 
and does not count it part of his duty as a biographer 
to recount the development which the principle underwent. 
It is obvious how widely the view here taken of a 
practically continuous proscription of the Christians from 
64 onwards differs from that which is ordinarily accepted — 
viz., that there were two isolated persecutions, one by Nero 
in 64, and the other by Domitian in 95. How then is it 
that the Christians are silent about this continuous perse- 
cution ? No names of martyrs are preserved,* no facts are 
recorded which have not been attributed to one or other of 
these two individual outbursts of fury. There is a Christian 
literature ; there are Christian historians. Are their silence 
and their record not conclusive? Partly, I think, their 
silence is not conclusive, partly, I think, their evidence has 
been misinterpreted. Their silence is not conclusive, be- 
cause the thoughts of the first century Christians were so 
absorbed in life, in teaching, in the imminent end of the 
world, that memory and history had small place with them. 
The moment, as it passed, sank out of sight and out of mind, 
in contemplation of the pressing future. Hence there sur- 
vived in recollection only a few isolated facts about a very 
few of the greatest figures in their history ; and these sur- 
vived only in vague and dubious tradition. When history 
began for the Christians late in the second century, hardly 
any historical authorities later than the Acts of the Apostles 

* The single exception is St. Paul, whose death is, by Lightfoot 
and others, dated about 67. If this date is right, the event proves 
the continuance of the principle after Nero's personal direction was 
withdrawn. Nero was in Corinth on November 28th, 67, as we 
know from an inscription published by M. Holleaux, Discours 
^rononce ;par Neron, Lyon, 1889, p. 13 ; see above, p. 243f. 

278 The Church in the Roinan Empire, 

remained, and the events of Christian history during a long 
period after A.D. 62 had perished from memory. So far 
from exaggerating, the Christian historians give a very 
defective account of the sufferings of that period. From 
the silence,'therefore, of the authorities, no argument against 
the view here advanced can be drawn. 

But we have a few contemporary Christian documents, 
which are indeed not of the type of formal history, but 
which, being written by persons absorbed in the practical 
problems of life, as we have supposed the Christians to be, 
throw some light on that life. Persons whom we have 
assumed to be living a life so real could not compose 
abstract, philosophical, or moral, or even religious treatises. 
There must beat in their work the pulse of actual life. 
Here we have an infallible test of genuineness. The period 
was unique in its character, and unsurpassed in the violence 
of contending emotions ; the writers were men of affairs, 
living in deadly earnest ; the resulting literature must bear 
the stamp of the period, and must prove or disprove the 
view here advanced of the war between the Church and the 

Note. — The phrases used in the text — ** resumption of the Nero- 
nian policy by Vespa<^ian," and "continuity of persecution after 
Nero" — are not mutually contradictory. Nero's precedent guided 
provincial governors in cases that were brought before them, until, 
in some way unknown to us, the question was again raised and 
decided by Vespasian in a more developed way. Similarly, it was 
again raised by Pliny for Trajan's consideration, and by Licinius 
Silvanus Granianus for Hadrian's. 




THE scanty indications which can be gathered from 
Pagan authorities, and from the few facts established 
by evidence independent of the contemporary Christian 
writers, are not sufficient to prove, though they certainly point 
the way to, the view which we have taken of the policy of the 
Flavian Emperors towards the Church. The real proof of 
that view lies in the indications of the feeling which was 
roused in the minds of the Christians by the Flavian 
action — a feeling so intense as to be almost without 
parallel in history. 

I. The First Epistle of Peter. 

If the view, which will be stated about i Peter, be found 

even approximately correct, it will afford a very strong, 

almost a conclusive, proof of the general accuracy of our 

theory on the relations of the State to the Church. On the 

other hand, the extreme views — that i Peter belongs to a 

very early date,-about A.D. 40-64, or to a very late date 

under Trajan — are absolutely inconsistent with our theory ; 

while the view that i Peter was written between 64 and 6"] 

would involve a modification of our theory, and an admission 

of the view which we have deliberately rejected (se(? p. 242), 

that the development from the condemnation of Christians 


2 8o The Chtirch in the Roman Empire. 

for definite crimes, to the absolute proscription of the Name, 
took place before the conclusion of Nero's reign. 

It is not easy to state, in precise and brief terms, the view 
which is here taken of i Peter. There is great danger of 
over-emphasising one aspect, and omitting others entirely. 
I must therefore beg for indulgence, while I state once for 
all, that in this chapter our concern is with only one side of 
a group of documents which are, to an unusual degree, 
many-sided ; and that, forced as I am to leave out of view 
much of the character of the documents, I am far from 
ignoring or disparaging that which I do not explicitly 
mention. My point is that, if the points which I lay stress 
on are not absolutely false, the inferences here stated must 

I shall first state shortly my view of the character of this 
Epistle, and shall thereafter criticise two different views : 
the criticism will serve to render more precise my own view 
and the reasons for it. 

The First Epistle of St. Peter is addressed to all the 
Christian communities of Asia Minor north of the Taurus.* 
They are regarded as exposed to persecution (i. 6), not 
merely in the form of dislike and malevolence on the part 
of neighbours, though that is, of course, an additional and 
trying element of the situation, but persecution to the 
death (iv. 15, 16), after trial and question (iii. 15). t The 
persecution is general, and extends over the whole Church 
(v. 9). The Christians are not merely tried when a private 
accuser comes forward against them, but are sought out for 

* See above, pp. no, 187. 

t The Greek, anokoy'iav and cXtovvti Xoyoi/, is more precise than the 
English version. For other views, see below, p. 291 fif. 

XIII . AittJiorities for the Flavian Period. 281 

trial by the Roman officials (v. 8, iii. 15).* They suffer for 
the Name (iv. 14-16) pure and simple ; the trial takes the 
form of an inquiry into their religion,! giving them the 
opportunity of " glorifying God in this Name." 

The picture is here complete. We have the fully de- 
veloped kind of trial which we suppose to have been 
instituted about 75-80, and which was carried out by Pliny 
as part of the fixed policy of the Empire towards the 
Christians. These circumstances are essentially different 
from those of the Neronian period. The resulting action 
was indeed much the same ; many Christians were in 
each case executed in barbarous ways ; but the legal and^ 
political aspects of the situation were very different. . 

But I Peter does not look back over a period of perse- f 
cution. It rather looks forward to it as the condition in ' 
which the Christians have to live. The State is absolutely ' 
hostile, raging against them, seeking them out for destruc- 
tion (v. 8, 9) ; but it is not yet regarded, as it is in later 
documents, as inexorably and inevitably, from its very 
nature, opposed to the Christians. By steadily avoiding all 
just cause of offence, by convincing the world of their good 
works, by strict obedience to the laws of the State, to the 
Emperor, and to the provincial governors, they may put 

* A trial which involved the penalty of death could take place 
only before Roman officials of high rank. They that are sought out 
for such a trial must be sought out by order of Roman officials. 

t iv. 14-16 refers obviously to trials issuing in death. Christians 
are to face gladly the accusation of bearing the Name and the death 
that it entails, and to fear only such crimes as v^ould justify their 
execution. The passage loses much of its significance, unless the 
question put to the accused is of the type, " Are you a Christian ? " 
The words, xrepl r^p Iv vfxlv eXTrt'Sof, iii. 15, define the subject of the 

282 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

their slanderers to silence, and emerge from their fiery- 
trials (ii. 11-15). It is clear from this analysis of the 
situation that the writer stands at the beginning of the 
new period. He still clings to the idea that the Christians 
are persecuted because they are believed to be guilty of 
great crimes ; the old charges of the Neronian time are 
still in his memory, and he hopes that, if the absurdity of 
these charges be fully brought home to the minds of men, 
the persecution must be stopped. Hence he reiterates 
St. Paul's advice.* The social order is not to be interfered 
with : slaves are to respect their masters in spite of bad 
treatment ; divisions within the family on account of religion 
are to be avoided. This attitude belongs to one whose 
experience has been gained in the first period of Chris- 
tianity, in the time of Claudius and Nero, and who is now 
at the beginning of a new period. He recognises the fact 
that Christians now suffer as witnesses to the Name, and 
for the Name pure and simple ; but he hardly realises all 
that was thereby implied. 

The First Epistle of Peter then must have been written 
soon after Vespasian's resumption of the Neronian policy 
in a more precise and definite form. It implies relations 
between Church and State which are later than the 
Neronian period, but which have only recently begun. 

If the date about A.D. 80, to which we ascribe i Peter, 
is correct, either the author cannot be the Apostle Peter, 
or the usual view, according to which Peter perished at 
Rome in the Neronian persecution, is not correct. Now 
while the tradition that St. Peter perished in Rome is strong 
and early, the tradition about the date of his death is not 

* See above, p. 246. 

XI I L Authorities for the Flavian Period. 283 

so clear.* The earliest authority for the date is Origen, 
who places his martyrdom under Nero before that of Paul. 
Tertullian also seems in one passage to assign it to the 
time of Nero ; but in another passage he mentions the 
tradition of the Roman Church that Clement was ordained 
by St. Peter.t The latter passage is the strongest evidence 
which we possess on the point, and it clearly proves that 
the Roman tradition during the latter part of the second 
century placed the martyrdom much later than the time 
of Nero.J The tradition that he lived for a long time in 
Rome is also strong, and, as Dr. Harnack justly says, " it 
is difficult to suppose that so large a body of tradition has 
no foundation in fact."§ But conclusive reasons show that 
he cannot have been in Rome long before the Neronian 
persecution ; and therefore a long residence there is im- 
possible unless he lived to a much later date. 

The only early tradition with regard to St. Peter's later 
life, then, is that which was accepted by the Roman Church 
during the second century, and it is' to the effect that 
St. Peter lived in Rome till long after the time of Nero. 
The tradition that he died under Nero is not a real tradition, 
but an historical theory, framed at the time when all recol- 

* In the original lectures this date was treated as inconsistent with 
Petrine authorship. A conversation with Dr. Hort suggested the 
view now taken. In the rest of this paragraph I am indebted to 
Lightfoot, Clem.e7it, ii., p. 494 ff. 

t Origen in Eusebius, H. E., iii. i ; Tertullian, ScorJ)., 15 (about 
215 A.D.) ; in de ;prcBscrzJ>i, 2,2 (about 199, l>^oe\diech.eYi, Ab/assu?zgs- 
zeit d. Schr. Tert.), he mentions the Roman tradition. 

X In the extreme uncertainty of the history of the early Roman 
episcopate it is not possible to fix an exact date for the ordination 
of Clement. 

§ Harnack on " Peter " in the Encycl. Brzi., ninth edition. 

284 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

lection of the true relations between the State and the 
Christians had perished, and when it was believed that 
there had been two separate and single persecutions, one 
by Nero, and one by Domitian in his later years. As to 
the date of the Epistle there is no tradition, and it is merely 
a modern theory, keenly contested by many, that places the 
composition about A.D. 64. 

It has been said that Clement, ad. Cor.^ 4, mentions 
Peter's death before Paul's, and that his order is naturally 
taken as chronological. I see no reason to think that in 
mentioning " the good apostles " Clement must be supposed 
to follow chronological order. It may have been the 
natural order for a Roman, even then, to mention Peter 
first. The passage is quite as effective in expression if 
Peter's death was more recent than Paul's.* 
^ The history of the spread of Christianity imperatively 
demands for i Peter a later date than A.D. 64. When it 
was written the new religion had been diffused over all the 
provinces of Asia Minor, north of Taurus. The impression 
that we get from Acts is, that the evangelisation of Asia 
Minor originated from St. Paul ; and that from his initiative 
the new religion gradually spread over the country through 
the action of many other missionaries (Acts xix. 10). 
Moreover, missionaries not trained by him were at work 

* It is remarkable that Lightfoot, Clement, i., p. 344, should say, 
" Whether TertuUian, when he states that the Roman Church re- 
corded Clement to have been ordained by St. Peter, was influenced, 
etc., or whether it was his own independent inference, etc., we have 
no means of determining." Surely we have means of determining — 
viz., by believing Tertullian's plain statement, that he is doing 
neither of the things suggested by Lightfoot, but is quoting the 
tradition current in Rome. His own " independent inference" seems 
rather to have been that Peter died under Nero, Scorp., 15. 

XIII. AiUhorities for the Flavian Period. 285 

in South Galatia and in Ephesus as early as 54-56 A.D. 
(Gal. V. 7-10-; Acts xviii. 25). If we can assume that this 
account is not absolutely unhistorical, and that Christianity 
was extending along the main line of intercourse across 
the Empire between 50 and 60, it is inconceivable that, 
before A.D. 64, (i) it had spread away from that line across 
the country through the northern provinces ; (2) so much 
organisation and intercommunication had grown up as is 
implied in i Peter, where a person writing from Rome is 
familiar with the condition and wants of the congregations, 
and advises them with some authority. 

We have already seen that Christianity is not likely to 
have reached Amisos before A.D. 65 ; and if we assume that 
this great further development had taken place in time for 
I Peter to be written about 75-80, we are straining historical 
probability as far as the evidence will reasonably permit. 
So far as an opinion is possible, they that make Peter write 
to the congregations of Pontus during Nero's reign remove 
the story of early Christianity from the sphere of history 
into that of the marvellous and supernatural ; and it lies 
outside of the plan of this work to follow them. 

It is no argument against the date when we consider 
Christianity to have reached Amisos, that it must have 
reached Rome as early as A.D. 55-6. In the state of the 
Empire Rome was easier to reach than Amisos ; * and all 
movements of thought spread first to Rome. Nor does it 
constitute any real objection to our dating, that, in the 
Pastoral Epistles, the new religion is spoken of as spreading 
to Dalmatia and other places off the main line of com- 
munication. Assuming the genuineness of these Epistles, 

* See Hist. Geogr., p. 26. 

286 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

we must attribute this rapid spread of Christianity in the 
years following Paul's release to his extraordinary activity 
and energy ; and concurrently therewith we place the 
evangelisation of Amisos and the north coast of Asia 

Moreover, the strong analogies which i Peter shows to 
James, Romans, and Ephesians, implying that the writer 
was familiar with all these letters, are more easily 
explicable if i Peter was composed about A.D. 80. 
Holtzmann indeed uses them as an argument against the 
Petrine authorship of the Epistle, and Lightfoot * has not 
cleared away the difficulty which they cause if the com- 
position of I Peter is assigned to A.D. 6^ or 64. 

It seems difficult to explain this character in i Peter, and 
the influence which these three Epistles have exercised on 
it, except in the way which Holtzmann has done. These 
Epistles were known to the writer, and were esteemed by 
him as works of high authority and value. A certain lapse 
of time for the formation of this authoritative character 
seems required ; but it is entirely in keeping with the view 
we take of the organisation of the Church during the 
Flavian period that these letters should have acquired that 
character before A.D. 80 (see p. 367). 

That this Epistle was written from Rome, I cannot doubt. 
It is impregnated with Roman thought to a degree beyond 
any other book in the Bible ; the relation to the State and 
its officers forms an unusually large part of the whole. It 
seems, if I may venture to hold an opinion on such a point, 
to presuppose a more organised and inter-connected state 
of the entire Church than most documents included in the 
. ^ .. .. ■ 

* Clemcjtt, ii., p. 499. 

XI I L Authorities for the Flavian Period. 287 

New Testament, more so than even the Pastoral Epistles. 
It is far advanced on the path that leads to the letter of 
Clement to the Corinthians. The reference to Rome as 
" Babylon " * implies a developed state of symbolic ex- 
pression approximating to that of (the Apocalypse. The 
letter is addressed to " the elect who are sojourners of the 
Dispersion " in Asia Minor. The congregations of Asia 
Minor were composed of persons that had been Pagans 
(iv. 2, 3). It is contrary to all reasonable probability that 
they contained any appreciably large Jewish element ; and 
if Acts is a historical authority of any value whatever, the 
Jewish population was, as a body, strenuously opposed to 
the Christians of Asia Minor. How then can a Jew, like 
Peter, speak of these congregations by the Jewish title 
Diaspora? It is because, writing after the destruction of 
Jerusalem, and recognising the utter change that had 
thereby been produced both for Judaism and for the 
possible development of Christianity, he now appreciated 
the unique position and the importance of the Asia Minor 
churches (see p. 171), and regarded them as the chief 
guarantee for the unity which had once — in his view — 
centred in Jerusalem, and was now scattered abroad (see 
p. no). 

There are several points in this Epistle which have a 
more vivid and forcible character, if we date it as late as 
A.D. 75-80 ; whereas if it belongs to a period earlier than 
A.D. 64, their natural force has to be, to some degree, 

* That Babylon should be understood as the Chaldaean city 
appears to conflict so entirely with all record and early tradition, 
as to hardly need discussion. But that a Jew, whose life had been 
spent in Palestine and Chaldsea, should write so romanised a letter 
is even more improbable. 

2 88 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

modified. In the reference to the Devil (v. 8) we have a 
step towards the strongly developed idea of the World, 
which is described below (see § 5).. In this case the ex- 
pression is more purely metaphorical and ethical ; but the 
action of agents seeking and arresting Christians is included, 
and gives point and pertinence to the metaphor. The 
State, however, is not yet conceived as the irreconcilable 
enemy (see p. 296). 

Again, the reference to hospitality (iv. 8, 9) has more force, 
if the Epistle was written after the Church had begun to 
appreciate, with full consciousness, the importance of inter- 
communication. Paul appreciated this very early, and 
insists on it frequently (Rom. xii. 13 ; i Tim. iii. 2 ; Titus i. 
8 ; cp. Hebr. xiii. 2) ; but it is not so easy to imagine Peter 
appreciating it, until the destruction of Jerusalem made it 
clear that the local unity of a central sanctuary was ex- 
changed for the ideal unity of constant intercourse and 
mutual welcome.* Otherwise we must take iv. 8, 9, as 
merely urging in a general way the duty of hospitality, 
which hardly needs such prominence, considering the state 
of contemporary society. 

The date of i Peter seems clearly fixed. If it was written 
by St. Peter, reasons founded on his character and history 
confirm the late date. If it be proved that he died before 
A.D. 70, we should have to assign the composition (like 
2 Peter) to another author. 

2. Later Date assigned to i Peter. 

Many critics have fully realised that the Epistle does not 
suit the time of Nero, but, misled by the false interpretation 

* Hence Clement urges on the Corinthians the duty of (piXo^tvia, 
§1, 10-12, 35. See above, p. 10. 


XIII. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 289 

of Pliny's report to Trajan, have dated its composition too 
late. Holtzmann's article in Schenkel's Bibel-Lexikon, 
iv., p. 296, may be taken as the best statement of the 
historical arguments on which this Epistle has been assigned 
to the period of Trajan or Hadrian. 

1. " In the Epistle, iv. 15, the Christians of Bithynia and 
other provinces are warned against murder, theft, and other 
crimes ; and, according to Pliny, the Christians of Bithynia 
were in the habit of taking an oath to avoid such crimes." 

Such is one of Holtzmann's arguments, which would be 
irresistible, if he could add the proof that the Christians 
first began to avoid these crimes about 112. This essential 
part of his argument he has omitted. 

2. " In the Epistle trials of Christians are alluded to, 
iii. 15, and such trials were held by Pliny in Bithynia." 

Again Holtzmann omits the essential part of his argu- 
ment — viz., the proof that such trials were first held by 
Pliny. When we find a series of trials of Christians before 
Roman officials, beginning with that of Jesus and reaching 
through the time of Paul and the whole of the first century, 
we can see no cogency in Holtzmann's reasoning. 

3. " In the Epistle it is implied that the issue in these 
trials turns on the simple question whether the accused is 

a Christian, and that question first came to the front under 

T* j> 
raj an. 

The first part of this argument we fully accept. It states, 
in brief, the essential and critical point, which distinguishes 
the language of this Epistle from all earlier references to 
persecution. But we have seen that, while the trials of 
Trajan's time were certainly conducted on this principle, 
the procedure was then settled by long usage. 

Such are the reasons which lead Holtzmann and many 


290 The C/mrck in the Roman Empire. 

others to date i Peter about 1 15-135.* We can see no 
validity in them. On the contrary, we observe that the 
tendency of Trajan's rescript was to put an end to the state 
of things impHed in the Epistle. He forbade the seeking out 
of Christians, which is expressly referred to in iii. 15, v. 8. 
We cannot, indeed, prove that this prohibition, addressed to 
a single governor, immediately became universal ; but no 
one who has studied the character of Trajan will doubt, 
that the principle which he formulated to Pliny resulted 
from a consideration of the whole evidence as collected and 
arranged in the Imperial archives, and was the fixed rule of 
his policy. Moreover, Hadrian confirmed still more em- 
phatically the prohibition. If i Peter is not earlier than 
A.D. 112, we cannot place it earlier than 161 (see below, 
P- 337)> 3- <^3-tG which requires no notice, and has never 
been seriously proposed. 

3. Official Action implied in i Peter. 

Many writers have sought to minimise and to explain 
away the references to persecution in this Epistle. Having 
accepted too readily the dominant view as to the relations 
between the Empire and the Church, they could not resist 
the argument that, if i Peter implies a developed perse- 
cution by the State, it must be as late as Trajan. Yet 

* The rest of his reasons go to prove only the disagreement 
between the Epistle and the facts of the Neronian period. So far 
we cannot disagree from his conclusion, though his statement that 
during that period action against the Christians was confined to 
Rome is incorrect : we have seen (1) that it was inherent in the 
Imperial system that the Emperor's action should form a model 
for all provincial governors ; (2) that Suetonius considered Nero 
to have laid down a permanent principle of action against the 

XII L Authorities for the Flavian Period. 291 

they rightly appreciated the marks of an early date in the 
Epistle, and, thereby feeling bound to place it in the first 
century, they naturally and inevitably estimated too lightly 
the references to persecution. As the best expression of 
this view, a few sentences may be quoted from Dr. Marcus 
Dods' Introduction to the Nezv Testament, p. 200. My 
personal respect for the writer, and my high admiration 
for most of his work, make me reluctant in this case to 
differ from him so completely ; but the same clearness, 
preciseness, and completeness of statement, which raise 
his work to high rank, make him in this case a perfect 
exponent of the view that sacrifices the natural force in 
order to preserve the orthodox dating. He admits that 
" the letter was written to Christians, who were suffering 
for their religion " ; but maintains that " the persecution to 
which they were being subjected does not appear to have 
been instituted by the magistrate or governor of the district 
in which they lived, but to have been of a social kind. 
They had refused to join their old associates in ' excess of 
riot ' (iv. 4), and were therefore calumniated. They were 
spoken of as evildoers (iii. 16, ii. 12) ; and they were 
urged by Peter to prove by their conduct that these 
accusations were false. These accusations, therefore, were 
social calumnies, and not legal indictments. Indeed, Peter 
hints (iii. 13), that to be free from persecution they have 
only to continue in well-doing, each in his own position, 
whether as servant (ii. 18-25), ^s wife (iii. 1-6), or as 
husband (iii. 7). There is no allusion to trial before the 
authorities, nor to imprisonment, nor to death. Even the 
strongest passage adduced in favour of these views (iv. 16) 
will not bear such an interpretation. It is ' reproach ' that 
they suffered as Christians, and the fear is that they would 

292 The Chttrch in the Roman Empire. 

be ' ashamed ' of this reproach, and their deliverance from it 
was still to be by unmurmuring patience and continuance 
in well-doing (iv. 19)." 

In answer to this view, attention may be directed to the 
following points : 

I The Christians are addressed as persons exposed to 
suffer death. The words, " Let none of you suffer as a 
murderer, or as a thief ; but, if (a man suffer) as a Christian, 
let him glorify God in this Name" (iv. 15, 16), have 
no satisfactory meaning, unless those to whom they are 
addressed are liable to execution : the verb in the second 
clause is understood from the preceding clause, and must 
have the same sense. Moreover, if we suppose that 
" suffer " in the second clause could have the milder sense 
attributed to it by Dr. Dods, the whole sentence then 
implies : " Do not commit murder and be executed for it ; 
and if your neighbours make fun of you as a Christian, do 
not be ashamed of this name." What a feeble production 
does this noble letter then become ! A leader of the 
religion writes to his co-religionists in a distant land, 
advising them to abstain from murder and theft, and to 
disregard their neighbours' jeers. This is the meaning of 
what Dr. Dods calls " the strongest passage " in that letter, 
about which Lightfoot says that " no other book of the 
New Testament, except the Apocalypse, is so burdened 
with the subject [of persecution] : the leading purpose of 
the letter is to console and encourage his distant corre- 
spondents under the fiery trial which awaited them." * Had 
all manhood and steadfastness disappeared from Peter, or 
from the Asian Christians, that he should write to them 

* Clement^ ii., p. 498. 

XII I. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 293 

like this, about a situation which was prevented from being 
comfortable by their neighbours' discourtesy and rudeness ? 
All reality of tone, all nobleness, all power, disappear from 
this letter, unless it be addressed to those who are liable to 
suffer unto death as Christians. 

2. In the Roman Empire the right of capital punish- 
ment belonged only to a small number of high officials. 
No Asian Christian was liable to suffer death except 
through the action of the governor of his province. If 
the Christians are liable to suffer unto death, persecution 
by the State must be in process. 

3. The charges enumerated in iv. 15 are those which the 
writer thought likely to be brought against the Christians. 
He had known the Neronian system, when the Chris- 
tians were tried and convicted of definite criminal acts ; 
and he knew also the charges currently made against 
them by popular scandal. In this way he is led to the 
phrase of iii. 15 and iv. 15 : " Murder, theft, gross 
crimes,* tampering with the slaves and the families of 
others j — these and similar charges will be brought against 

* These charges are all implied in the accusation of Gveo-Teia hfnrva. 
See pp. 205, 22^-]. 

t The remarkable word dWoTpLoeTria-KoTTos has never been explained. 
It appears to be a rendering in Greek of a charge brought against 
the Christians, which had no single term to denote it, and for which 
this bold compound was framed by the writer. I cannot doubt that it 
refers to the charge of tampering with family relationships, causing 
disunion and discord, rousing discontent and disobedience among 
slaves, and so on. We have already seen (pp. 236 and 28a) how 
much importance this charge had, and how strenuously Paul and 
Peter urge the Christians not to provoke or justify it. Professor 
Mommsen writes that speculator alieiii of Tertullian, Scorp., 12, 
is a wide term, which might denote even a thief and a kidnapper 
{^lagtarms, qici servos alieiios i?itercipit)\ though I do not know 

294 ^^^^ Church in the Roman Empire. 

you. Give no colour to them by your life ; avoid the risk 
of perishing by such a disgraceful death ; * but be proud 
when you are called on to make your defence concerning 
the hope that is in you (iii. 15), and to be executed as 
Christians." f 

It would be a useful, but far too long, task to go over the 
whole Epistle, pointing out how vividly various passages 
in it express the character of Roman action against the 
Christians : the official action, and the terror caused by its 
awful surroundings, the pressure of public opinion and 
popular dislike, the open expression of opinion by the 
circle of spectators round the tribunal, and the social perse- 
cution which became powerful and serious as a concomitant 
to legal proceedings, but which would be of little conse- 
quence unless abetted and completed by official judgment. 
The alliance between popular and judicial action was 
necessary for any real persecution in the Roman Empire. 
This does not naturally occur to us ; but it will be shown in 
Ch. XV. that the thoroughness of persecution was, to a very 

whether he would approve of the connotation which I give to the 
Greek and the Latin term in this case. The other Latin renderings, 
alienorum apjbetitor, citras alieiias agens, are vague and useless 
guesses. (On this subject see Ch. XV., §1.) 

* M. Le Blant, in his Supple m. aux Actes des Mar'tyrs^ p. 173, 
alludes to the dislike expressed by St. Felicitas and other martyrs 
to be executed along with criminals ; they gloried in suffering as 
Christians, but shrank from even the appearance of being executed 
for crimes {Acta Perpetuce, 15). The same feeling actuates the 
expression of i Peter iv. 15. 

t The two passages, iii. 15 andiv. 15, must betaken in connection. 
'ATToXoyiai/ is a strong term, strictly a legal term, a defence against a 
formal accusation. Unless formal trials were in the writer's mind, 
I do not think he would express himself thus ; though any less 
formal challenge is included. 

XIII. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 295 

great extent, dependent on the co-operation of the popu- 
lace. Such is the state of things that is presupposed 
throughout i Peter : the mixture of official and popular 
action is very clearly expressed. But the official action, as 
a necessary part of the situation,* is clearly implied in the 
language of iii. 15, 16, iv. 15, etc.; and to ignore it is to 
sacrifice much of the character of a letter, which is instruc- 
tive beyond all others with regard to the position of the 
Christians in the Empire, after the development of official 
action had taken place. 

As to the argument which is founded by Dr. Dods on 
the advice to avoid persecution by continuance in well- 
doing, I trust that a satisfactory explanation of the advice 
has been give on p. 281-2. 

4. The Evidence of the Apocalypse. 

We turn next to a work of notorious difficulty, the 
Apocalypse. Here the moving spirit of the vision is the 
sufferings of the Church. The scene lies wholly in the Eastern 
Provinces, and especially in Asia among the seven churches ; 
for Rome is on the extreme horizon, and is conceived only 
as the distant metropolis where the martyrs are sent to 
suffer the death decreed against them. Only in this way, as 
Mommsen f has pointed out, can the reference to Rome as 
the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and witnesses 
of Jesus be explained (xvii. 6). In this phrase there is 

* On this subject, as a whole, see below, p. 373. The developed 
language of James must not be quoted in this connexion. James 
wrote to Jews, whose situation was utterly different. (See p. 349) 
Peter wrote to Gentile Christians, 

t Provinces of the Romait E7nJ)ire, ii. 199, of the English 

296 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

implied a wide-spread persecution with many victims ; and 
the sufferers are witnesses to the Name, not persons con- 
demned, even though unjustly, for specific crimes. Many 
other passages imply that the Church was exposed to a 
long-continued persecution to the death (vi. 9 ; vii. 14 ; 
xii. 1 1 ; xiii. 1 5 ; xvi. 6 ; xvii. 6 ; xviii. 24 ; xx. 4, etc.) ; and 
the persecution is likely to last (vi. 11). 

The victims of this persecution are witnesses to the Name, 
or the word of God (ii. 13; vi. 9 ; xii. 1 1 ; xvii. 6), which 
implies that their death springs directly from their acknow- 
ledgment of their religion, and not from conviction, even on 
false evidence, for specific crimes {^flagitid). But it is also 
implied that the persecutor is worshipped as a God by all 
people * except the Christians (xiii. 8), and that the martyrs 
are slain because they do not worship the Beast — i.e.^ the 
Roman Emperor (xiii. 15). Hence their refusal to worship 
the Beast and their witness to their own God are united in 
one act ; and this implies that worship of the Beast formed 
a test, the refusal of which was equivalent to a confession 
and witness. Here we touch on the feature which for our 
purposes is of the first importance — viz., the absolute and 
irreconcilable opposition between the Church and the 
Empire. The latter is the very incarnation and mani- 
festation of evil. The one characteristic, by which it 
concerns the Church, is the hatred and the firm resolution 

* Incidentally we note that this expression is a typical instance 
of the fact which we have already observed (p. 236). The mind 
of the writer is practically restricted to the Roman world. The 
expression "all that dwell on the earth" has not the nature of an 
exaggeration, for it is in accord with the unconscious restrictions of 
the writer's view. He thinks, like a Roman, that genus hiwianuin 
is the Roman world. The nations which did not worship the 
Emperor were never present to his mind. 

Kill. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 297 

with which it seeks to destroy Christianity. There is no 
wish for reconcihation with the persecuting power, only for 
vengeance on it (vi. 9-1 1 ; ix. 4) ; there is no thought of the 
possibility of bringing the State to a milder policy by con- 
vincing it of the harmlessness of Christianity. 

The visions in the Apocalypse may be taken as an 
historical authority, for they arise directly out of the situa- 
tion of the Church. Moreover, every detail of persecution 
that occurs in the visions may be paralleled from the 
messages to the churches which are prefixed to them. The 
messages indeed do not refer in such clear terms to perse- 
cution. But the single example of a martyr quoted by 
name, Antipas of Pergamos (ii. 13), shows what is meant 
by the " patience " of Ephesus and the " tribulation " of 
Smyrna. Antipas remained for some reason (perhaps as 
being the first of his class) * personally and individually in 
the memory of the Asian Church. Moreover, the persecution 
has been long-standing (ii. 13), and is to continue for a 
time (ii. 10). Again, the importance attached during this 
persecution to the worship of the Emperor, and the hatred 
for this special form of idolatry as the special enemy, have 
dictated the phrase addressed to the church of Pergamo?, 
" Thou dwellest where the throne of Satan," i.e., the 
temple of Rome and Augustus, " is " (ii. 13).! 

But on the whole surprisingly little space or attention is 

* Neumann (p. 15) infers unjustifiably that Antipas was the only 
martyr that had as yet suffered at Pergamos. 

t We may note in passing that this phrase belongs rather to the 
first century than the second. In the first century the supremacy 
of Pergamos in the Imperial cultus is certain or highly probable ; 
but in the second century it would rather appear that Ephesus 
succeeded to its place, and became the most important seat of 
the worship. 

298 The Church in the Ro^nan Empire. 

given in these messages to the subject of persecution, and 
this same character attaches to all letters addressed to 
the early churches.* Incidental allusions occur to the 
sufferings, but other subjects are more important to the 
writers. If the early Christians had given much thought 
to their persecutions, they would not have conquered the 

The date of the Apocalypse, and the question whether 
it is a product of Jewish or of purely Christian feeling, 
have been much debated. The hypothesis has even been 
advanced by Vischer and others that the Apocalypse was 
originally composed about A.D. 70, as a pure Jewish and 
non-Christian work, which was enlarged and retouched 
about A.D. 95, so as to become a Christian work. But this 
extreme hypothesis can certainly not be adopted. The 
Christian character is so imbedded in the structure of the 
Apocalypse that it cannot be taken out of it even in 
the most superficial way, except by such gross violence 
as is unworthy of sound criticism. The experiment has 
been made by Vischer ; and his work has the great value 
of showing conclusively that the thing is impossible. The 
Apocalypse is a Christian document from its inception to 
its completion. 

This does not, however, imply that John, in composing 
the Revelation, made no use of already existing Apocalypses. 
Vischer's investigation has shown conclusively that John 
was greatly influenced by older Jewish works of this 
character ; though he errs in regard to the manner in 
which John used them. The Revelation, as we have it, 

* Except, of course, on the supposition that i Peter was written 
before official action became regular. In that case surprisingly much 
space and attention are devoted to the subject in that Epistle. 

XI I L Authorities for the Flavian Period. 299 

is not a revised edition of a Jewish document. It is the 
work of a Christian writer, who was familiar with Jewish 
Apocalypses, and adapted to his own purposes much that 
was contained in some one or more of them ; but this writer 
treated the material with a mastery and freedom that made 
his work in its entirety a Christian document, however 
strong are the traces of the older form in parts of it. 

Spitta, in his OJfenbariing des JoJiannes, has justly 
appreciated the erroneous side of Vischer's hypothesis. 
He considers that John's Apocalypse was at first com- 
posed as an independent Christian document about 
A.D. 60, and that this Christian Apocalypse was enlarged 
by a redactor, who incorporated along with it two Jewish 
Apocalypses, one composed about B.C. 65, the other about 
A.D. 40. The redactor made considerable additions of his 
own to effect a harmonious junction between the fragments 
of these three works. This theory, while avoiding the 
difficulties into which Vischer fell, is involved in others 
even more serious. Its artificiality is so extreme as to 
make it incapable of proof and on the face of it improbable, 
since Spitta has not succeeded in finding any sufficiently 
clear marks to distinguish one document from another. 
The separation between the work of the two supposed 
Christian writers is especially hazardous and hypercritical. 

According to Spitta, the last two chapters are a patch- 
work of fragments from all four sources. Yet this patch- 
work has always been considered to be one of the most 
poetic and highly wrought passages in the Bible. A 
patchwork which rises to that rank is no mere piecing 
together of fragments ; it is an original work, in which 
ideas learned from various sources are fused into a truly 
original production. 

300 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Spitta's theory, however, is at least a strong confirmation 
of the arguments which we have advanced against Vischer s 
theory in its actual form ; and we are in agreement with 
much that is contained in each of them, while considering 
that both require considerable modification. 

But the decisive argument against the actual form of 
Spitta's theory is that the supposed first Christian document 
is quite unsuitable to the year 60. It is most improbable 
that the Christians of Asia were at that date so highly 
organised in numerous congregations as they were when 
the letters to the seven churches were composed ; and it 
is contrary to all evidence that they were at that time 
exposed to serious persecution and actual execution. 
Spitta supposes (p. 477) that the churches of Asia were 
persecuted even to death by the Jews, and compelled to 
take the yoke of the law upon them ; and he shows that, 
in the message sent to the churches, Jesus does not threaten 
the Jews with judgment, but encourages His faithful people 
to resist to death. The idea that in great cities of the 
Roman Empire, some of them the residence of high Roman 
officials, Ephesus, Pergamos, Smyrna, etc., the Jews could 
persecute and kill the Christians in the public and open 
way that is implied in the Apocalypse, does not require 
serious refutation. We need only recommend Dr. Spitta 
to devote a little more time to the study of Roman 
Imperial history and administration, in order to learn that, 
defective as was the Roman Empire in some respects, it 
was not so utterly unfit for the fundamental duties of 
government, as to allow the extreme license and organised 
riot that are implied by his theory. 

But, even if the hypothesis be true, that the Apocalypse is 
the rc-cdition issued about 90-96 A.D. of an older work or 

XI 11. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 30 1 

works, whether composed by Jews or by Jewish Christians, 
it still continues authoritative for the later period. 

If the Apocalypse was originally a Christian document, 
there can remain no doubt that the preceding exposition 
forces us to date it not earlier than about A.D. 90.* The 
external circumstances in which it is environed are those 
which characterise the fully developed policy of the Flavian 
Emperors, and are different from those of the Neronian 
period. It looks back, unlike i Peter, over a period of 
persecution. As^ a Christian document, tlic Apocalypse 
is an historical impossibility about A.D. 70. The Church 
did not at that time stand opposed to the Empire and 
" the World " in declared inexpiable war ; the idea that 
Christianity might spread peaceably through the Empire 
was still dominant, as we see both in the Epistles of 
Paul t and in i Peter. Accordingly, if the Apocalypse 
is placed under Nero or Vespasian, the feeling that rules 
in it could be attributed only to the Jewish hatred against 
the Empire, which led to the rebellion of 67-70 ; and then 
it must lose the Christian character which we find to be 
inherent in it. Moreover, the circumstances and details 
are not in accordance with Jewish feeling. We must 
agree with Volter that these imply " a persecution which 
leads to imprisonment and death " ; \ and no such relation 
existed between the Jews and the Empire. 

* The earliest authority extant — viz., Irenaeus — dates it in the 
later years of Domitian, i.e., 90-96. 

f His earlier Epistles to the Thessalonians do not show this 
character; but in the later Epistles there is a distinct progress 
towards it, until it becomes strongly marked in the Pastoral Epistles. 

X Streiischrift gegen Harnack u?id Vischer, p. 34. " Es ist 
vielmehr eine Verfolgung (cf. xii. 12) gemeint, die zu Gefangniss 
und Tod fiihrt (xiii. 9, 10, 15)." 

302 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

On the other hand, the Apocalypse is equally an 
historical impossibility much after the year 112, when 
Trajan revised and toned down the harshness of the 
previous policy* modifying it in execution without abro- 
gating it in principle. As we shall see, there then began 
a gradual rapprochement between the Church and the 
Empire, and the idea that rules in the Epistles of Paul 
and Peter again became dominant in a much more 
advanced and defined form. 

One marked development in the procedure against the 
Christians seems to have taken place between the com- 
position of I Peter and that of the Apocalypse. The 
worship of the Emperor is not alluded to in the former, 
whereas it is prominent in the latter. Precisely in the 
interval between them lies the accession of Domitian, 
and, as we have seen, it was his desire to be regarded as 
a god in human form, and to be styled dominus et deus. 
We shall probably not err in attributing to his influence 
the final development of procedure in regard to the 

5. The First Epistle of John. 

From the Apocalypse we naturally turn to the Epistles 
attributed to St. John. There can be no doubt that the same 
hand can be traced in the First Epistle and the Fourth 
Gospel. No two works in the whole range of literature show 
clearer signs of the genius of one writer, and no other pair 

Volter's words, " nur bei Christen erklart sich das und auch 
bei ihnen nur in der Zeit seit Trajan," are half ris^^ht and half wrong. 
The error is founded on the strange misinterpretation of the two 
letters of Pliny and Trajan, which prevails so widely, and which 
Neumann has happily abandoned. 

XIII. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 303 

of works are so completely in a class by themselves, apart 
from the work of their own and of every other time. One 
work alone stands near them, the Apocalypse ; and while 
identity of authorship is very far from being so clear, as in 
the case of the Gospel and Epistle, yet there is a closer 
relation between the three works than exists between any 
of them and any fourth work. We must expect to find 
a close connection in time and circumstances of origin 
between the First Epistle and the Apocalypse. 

The First Epistle of John was in all probability "addressed 
primarily to the circle of Asiatic Churches, of which Ephesus 
was the centre." * It may be expected to contain some 
reference to the persecution of the Christians by Domitian. 
No explicit reference, however, occurs ; and it has even 
been concluded that the situation was entirely different. 
" Outward dangers were overcome. The world was indeed 
perilous ; but it was rather by its seductions than by its 
hostility. There is no trace of any recent or impending 
persecution." f Therefore, it may be argued, either they 
belong to a later date, or they prove that the author knew 
of no such persecution in Asia as we have found ourselves 
obliged to suppose. 

We answer that even the attribution to a later date does 
not explain the attitude of the writer in respect of the 
relations with the Empire, unless we bring him down to a 
decidedly later date than the most extreme critics advocate. 
Throughout the second century, as will be shown in the 
following chapters, Christianity continued to be forbidden, 
and the confession of the Name on trial constituted at once, 

* Westcott, Epistles of St. 'John, p. 2>2', 
t Westcott, p. 33. 

304 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

without any further proceedings, a sufficient ground for 
condemnation to death. A writer who was advising and 
admonishing any congregation during the second century 
must, if he referred at all to their relations with the State, 
refer to the proscription of the Church ; and if he could 
admonish the congregation at that time without referring 
to their relations with the State, he might equally well do so 
during the first century. Herein then lies the real explana- 
tion. The author has no thought to spend on the relation 
of his congregations to the Empire and the law, his mind is 
entirely occupied with another subject — viz., the inner life ; 
and he has no thought of advising them as to their be- 
haviour towards the State. 

But, though he does not allude to persecution, he does 
not leave us in the dark as to the feeling with which he 
regarded the State. The State is summed up in " The 
World." As Bishop Westcott says, "In the Emperor the 
World* found a personal embodiment and claimed Divine 
honour." Accordingly, when St. John says, " Marvel not, 
brethren, that f the World hateth you," and goes on to 
state that the passage from the World to Christianity is a 
passage from death to life, and from hatred of the Church 
to love of the Church, we shall see in the paragraph iii. 
13 ff., first, what was the attitude of the Empire towards 
the Church 90-100 A.D. ; and secondly, how little thought 
St. John bestowed on it. The transcendentalism of his 
thought, and the remoteness of his position from that of 

* Epistles of St. Johii, p. 255. I have slightly modified his 
phrase (which is " the world ") for the sake of uniformity. 

t I have modified the translation to bring out clearly that the 
hatred is assumed as a fact ; a literal rendering of d in English is 
apt to conceal this. 

XIII. Authorities for the Flavia^i Period. 305 

the practical preacher who tells his congregation how they 
are to behave in the presence of the persecutor, cannot be 
better expressed than in the w^ords of Westcott himself, 
p. 34: "According to his view, ... the World [including 
the " Empire "] exists indeed, but more as a semblance than 
as a reality. It is overcome finally and for ever. It is on 
the point of vanishing. . . . And over against ' the World ' 
there is the Church. . . . By this, therefore, all that need 
be done to proclaim the Gospel to those without, is done 
naturally and effectively in virtue of its very existence. It 
must overcome the darkness by shining. ... St. Paul wrote 
while the conflict was undecided. St. John has seen its 
close." * Fully to appreciate the writer whose attitude is 
described in these words, and to realise his perfect in- 
difference to, and want of concern with, the superficial 
aspect of the facts of the day, we must remember that he 
was writing under Domitian, who banished him to an islet 
in the yEgean Sea, and who was addressed by his subjects 
as " our Lord and God." When we do so, this paragraph, 
written to explain why missionary work is not urged by 
John as it was by Paul, also explains why the enmity of 
the Empire is treated so lightly, and occupies a hardly 
appreciable place in his mind. 

We now^ see that the attitude of the Epistles to the 
Empire is the same as that of the Apocalypse ; and we 
also realise that it would be a mistake to argue, from the 
absence of any explicit reference in them to persecution, 
that they were composed in a season of peace, when 
persecution was at an end. Any apparent disci epancy 

* I would only add to this last sentence, " with the eye ot a seer," 
Epistles of St. John, p. 34. I have, as before, made the change 
of a capital in " the World.'' 


3o6 TJie Church in the Roman Empire. 

Detween the Epistles and the Apocalypse, in reference to 
the relations of Church and State, lies in the difference of 
their point of view. In the words we have just quoted, the 
first Epistle sees the World "only as a semblance, finally 
overcome, and on the point of vanishing." The Apocalypse 
explains how this is so, by the vision of the Divine 
scheme of things, in which the World, the persecutor, is 
conquered and evanescent, while permanence and reality 
belong only to the Church which the World has vainly 
tried to destroy In this vision the Empire and its 
action towards the Church must be expressly described. 
But neither in the Apocalypse nor in the Epistle is it 
described with the intention of advising Christians as to 
their behaviour in the face of persecution. The writer is 
always remote from that point of view, and on a higher 
plane of thought. 

6. Hebrews and Barnabas. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews throws little light on the 
relation between the State and the Church, nor does this 
subject throw much light on that enigmatic work. The 
persons addressed have been exposed to taunts and afflic- 
tions (x. 33), and have endured a great conflict. Yet the 
general tone, perhaps, implies that worse and more serious 
trials have been experienced by Christians elsewhere, and 
that the persons addressed may expect a more terrible 
trial in the immediate future. The whole spirit of the 
advice given them seems to be directed to prepare them for 
serious persecution, and therefore the writer must already be 
familiar with persecution of that type. 

By the language of xii. 4 this impression is confirmed. 
The persons addressed were up to the present not sufferers 

XIII. AMthorities for the Flavian Pe^Hod. 307 

of persecution that had been carried as far as death.* 
But the example of the heroes and heroines of old^ who hy/l^i/O^^ 
faith were enabled to resist death and extreme torments, is Cwus^'l 
urged upon them at such length, and v/ith such earnestness, i/Ua-o 
as to show that the writer considers them to be threatened p/y^ 
by a similar fate. j/^[ 

This summary practically assumes the point, and dis- TT^ v 
regards the difficulty. It gives far too much definiteness to > (mJ 
what is expressed in fainter outlines and in a less preciscgu^fi^ 
way. But, if it at all correctly represents the tone of ^^'W-u 
the Epistle, the date of composition appears to be about , 

64-66. But, first, there is in the Epistle an absence of 
expressions which are specially and obviously appropriate '"^"^ 
to the character of the Neronian trials ; and, secondly, a 
certain poverty of meaning is on this supposition attributed 
to X. ;^^ (6v6L8caibLOL<i re KalOXl'xjreo'LV OearpL^o/jievot), which mdiy \ 
however be in keeping with the rather rhetorical style of "^ 

this writer. Yet no other date suits better, for there is an 

■' ■1'* ( 

equal absence of expressions that would be suitable if the 
letter were composed at some critical period of later history 
— e.^., under Domitian. Moreover, it is probably easier to 
understand the want of definiteness in the writer's attitude 
towards the State, if he belonged to an earlier period. 
Perhaps the reason for this difficulty of fitting the letter 
to any special date lies in its style, which is further away 
from the realities of life, and more rhetorical and abstract 
than the letters of St. Paul. 

The Epistle of Barnabas is assigned by Weizsacker and 
Lightfoot to the reign of Vespasian. The date is reckoned 

* The sense which Wordsworth, for example, gets from this verse 
by pressing the force of the aorist seems to me quite unacceptable, 
for it is not consistent with ovn(o. 



308 The Chtirch in the Ro^nan Empire, 

\by them from the passage in which Daniel is quoted : " Ten 
kingdoms shall reign upon the earth, and after them shall 
rise up a little horn, who shall lay low three of the kings in 
'^ one." The writer quoted this to prove that the last day 
^ was approaching, for this sign was in actual fulfilment when 
Vhe was writing. Weizsacker and Lightfoot differ in the 
%^" details of their explanation, and the latter certainly is more 
satisfactory. In one respect they seem both to miss the 
truth. Both say that Vespasian is the tenth king — i.e., the 
tenth Roman Emperor ; but they differ about the three 
kings that are laid low by the little horn. Weizsacker finds 
them in Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, overthrown by Ves- 
pasian. The objections to this are obvious. Vespasian is 
made to do double duty, as one of the ten kings, and also 
as the little horn ; moreover, Vespasian did not in any 
sense lay low Galba, but vindicated his memory. Light- 
foot explains the little horn as the returning Nero, who was 
expected to destroy the three Flavii, Vespasian, Titus, and 
Domitian, conceived to reign together as Augustus and two 
Caesars. In this explanation a difficulty suggests itself. It 
is clearly implied that the three who are to be destroyed at 
a blow are all included in the ten, whereas on this ex- 
planation an eleventh and twelfth, viz., Titus and Domitian, 
have to be added to make up the three. But little change 
is needed. We have only to bear in mind that, in the time 
of Vespasian, Otho and Vitellius were not regarded as 
Emperors, for Vespasian claimed to succeed Galba directly, 
and to avenge his death on the two usurpers.* Vespasian 
therefore was the eighth, Titus the ninth, and Domitian the 

* It was a later idea to reckon Vitellius and Otho among the 
twelve Caesars. To do so in the time of the Flavian Emperors would 
have been treason. 

^yCUx^C. . >W-f-v ^-(^^ ,M^U. "Y^^^ 

XIII. Attthorities for the Flavian Period. 309 

tenth king ; and three kings reigning together between 70 
and 79 were according to widespread belief destined all to 
perish together at the hands of the expected Nero. This 
remarkable situation fulfilled the 'sign of the prophet 
Daniel, and portended the approaching end of the world ; 
and this part of the Epistle of Barnabas was therefore 
written under Vespasian. 

The subject of the Epistle gives little or no occasion 
for alluding to the relation of the Christians to the State. 
Only in the concluding part, " the Two Ways," is there any 
opening for such allusion ; and here we find little or 
nothing bearing on the subject, except the advice to " be ,. 
subject to masters as the image of God " (§ 19)^ The im- 
pression here given is that the writer, like Paul and Peter, 
insists on the strict observance of the actually existing 
laws. The Christians are not to give any countenance to 
changes of the established order ; they are to accept the 
present situation, and to remember that their own world is 
a different one. 

7. The Epistle of Clement. 

The evidence of Clement, in the letter to the Corinthian 
Church, written, perhaps, about A.D. 97,* is very important. 
After quoting from ancient Jewish history various ex- 
amples of the evils wrought by jealousy, he proceeds : — 

" But let us come to those champions who lived very 
near to our time. Let us set before us the noble examples 
which belong to our generation." He quotes at some 

* Lightfoot argues convincingly that Clement wrote under Nerva, 
i-) P- 352 ; but elsewhere he regularly speaks of the E;pistle as 
composed in the latter years of Domitian. 

3IO TJie Church in the Roman E7npi7^e, 

length the sufferings of St. Peter and St. Paul ; and he 
then proceeds : " Unto these men of holy lives was gathered 
a vast multitude of the elect." The idea of two distinct 
and isolated persecutions is forced upon these words in 
accordance with the tradition of the second century, which 
mentions only, two great persecutors, Nero and Domitian.* 
But Clement is most naturally understood as referring to 
a continuous persecution throughout his own generation, 
keener perhaps at one time than at others. 

It appears probable that after the death of Domitian, 
as after the persecution of Nero, there was a temporary 
cessation of a policy which had been carried to an 
extreme. There was in each case a certain revulsion of 
feeling, which is expressly attested in the earlier case by 
Tacitus, and which may be inferred in the second case both 
from Clement's expression " the sudden and repeated 
calamities and reverses which bcfcl us," f and from the 
statement of Dion tliat Nerva dismissed those who were 
awaiting their trial on the charge of sacrilege. Hence 
Clement was apparently writing during a lull in the storm 
of persecution ; while it was at its height, he had no time 
to attend to the reports which reached him about the 
Corinthian church. But Clement knows well that the 
present is only a momentary lull ; he says in § 6 that " we 
are in the same lists [with those who have been slain], and 
the same contest awaitcth us." 

* Lightfoot, though on the whole he takes this view, remarks 
about the " vast multitude of the elect," that " the reference must be 
chiefly, though not solely, to the sufferers in the Neronian persecution." 

t Lightfoot translates as if the text were -^ivoiiiva^, but in the text 
he reads yevofxevas, which alone has MS. authority, and which he 
expressly prefers, i., p. 352, ii., p. 8, although the Syriac translation 
has a present 

XIII. Aitthorities for the Flavian Period. 3 1 1 

Clement has been interpreted * as implying that there 
had never been a persecution at Corinth : " a profound 
and rich peace had been given to all." But the context 
shows that here the thought in the writer's mind is not of 
persecutions. He is speaking of that peace and freedom 
from dissensions which formerly characterised the Church 
of Corinth, but which characterised it no longer. 

8. The Letters of Ignatius. 

One other work remains, which throws much light on ! 
the spirit of this time, but it is a work whose date and i 
authenticity are more keenly contested than those of any 
other in Christian literature. The letters of Ignatius have ] 
certainly formed a subject for forgery to work upon 
on an extraordinary scale. But, after Lightfoot's argu- 
ments, it is clear that the supposition of a forgery in the 
case of the seven central documents entails the belief that 
a tale coherent, probable in itself, and yet unusual in some 
points, was constructed as a basis, that the letters are 
written on this foundation, and, without ever formally 
referring to the incidents of this tale, pre-suppose them as 
having actually occurred ; that this tale disappeared from 
memory ; that it was flatly contradicted by a later forger, 
who remodelled the original forgery, and also by all tra- 
dition ; and that it remained for scholars in recent years, 
and especially for Lightfoot, to disentangle this tale from 
the obscure language of the genuine letters, and thus enable 
us to comprehend the skill of the most skilful forger known 
in history. He that is not prepared to admit all this is 

* By Gebhardt and Harnack, in P}-olegoniciia to their edition of 
Clement, p. Ivii. 

3 1 2 The C/mrch in the Roman Empire. 

bound to admit the genuineness of what Lightfoot calls 
the Middle Recension. 

Strange to say, it is not possible to prove from the 
actual words of Ignatius that a general persecution was 
going on at the time. The situation in which he was 
placed made any such allusion unnecessary. No exhorta- 
tion to face persecution could strengthen the effect of his 
mere example. In his letter to the Romans, § 5, Ignatius 
refers to previous cases in which the beasts had " refused 
through fear to touch " martyrs exposed to them. The 
passage does not, indeed, explicitly mention that the vic- 
tims were Christians ; but it is natural and probable that he 
should refer to martyrs. This shrinking of the beasts from 
human beings is often referred to in the best and most 
authentic Acts of Martyrs ; and M. Le Blant has dis- 
cussed the subject with his usual learning and critical 
sense.* But if we except this letter, no direct reference 
to persecution occurs ; though there is a general implication 
that Ignatius is suffering the common lot of Christians. 
His attention is almost exclusively devoted in the other 
six letters to the affairs and the luture of the churches to 
whom he writes. But even where he makes no express 
reference to it, Ignatius leaves the feeling in the reader's 
mind that persecution and suffering are general. 

A subtle difference exists, in respect of our subject, 
between the two groups of letters, the four written from 
Smyrna, and the three from Troas.f In the latter nothing 
occurs for our purpose ; the former abound in delicate 

* Actes des Martyrs, p. 86 and 95 ; see below, p. 404. 

t Incidentally wc may notice this difference in thought as a proof 
of genuineness : it implies a difference of situation, such as is inex- 
plicable on the theory of forgery. 

XIII. AulJiorities for tJie FLivian Period. 3 1 3 

phrases, the most cxph'cit of which may be quoted. The 
hfe of the Christian is a life of suffering, the cHmax of 
his h'fe and the crowning honour of which he gradually 
makes himself worthy is martyrdom, and Ignatius is far 
from confident that he is worthy of it {Trail., 4). Suffering 
and persecution are the education of the Christian,* and 
through them he becomes a true disciple {Ephes., 3 ; 
Magn., 8, 9). The teacher, then, is the person or church 
which has gone through most suffering, and shown true 
discipleship ; and Ignatius distinguishes Ephesus and Rome 
as his teachers {Ephes., 3 ; Rom., 3). Ignatius is still in 
danger, not having as yet completely proved his steadfast- 
ness, whereas Ephesus is proved and firmly fixed, the 
implication being that it has been specially distinguished 
by the number of its martyrs {Ephes., 12); and, moreover, 
Ephesus has been the highway of martyrs, the chief city of 
the province where many, even from other parts, appeared 
before the proconsul for trial, and at the same time the port 
whence they were sent to Rome (see p. 318). A detailed 
comparison is made in Magn., 8, 9, between the prophets 
and the Christians of the age. The prophets were perse- 
cuted, and the Christians endure patiently in order to 
become true disciples. When such is the principle of the 
Christian life, that suffering is the best training, it is the 
devil's teaching to make any compromise with the world, 
and to ask pardon for one who has been condemned, as 
the State would express it, or promoted to the crowning 
glory, as the Church should consider it {Trail, 4). 

The impression which had been produced by persecution 

* He repeats in a new sense the principle of iEschylus, to suffer 
ii to learn, Agaui., 170, and often. 

314 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

on the feeling of the Christians towards the Empire is very 
strongly marked in the letters of Ignatius. Outside of 
the Apocalypse the irreconcilable opposition between the 
State and Christianity is nowhere more strongly expressed 
than in them ; and there runs throughout both groups of 
writings the same identification of the State with the 
World,* and the same rejection of the slightest compromise 
with the World. The same magnificent audacity towards 
the State, the same refusal to accept what seemed to men 
to be the plain facts of the situation,t the same perfect 
assurance of victory characterise both. In both the point 
of view is that the Church is the powerful party, and that 
the State is the criminal. The Church must act with the 
strong hand, not with gentle persuasion, in its dealings 
with the State.l Christians must not speak of Christ and 
desire the World. § The opposition between the Church 
and the World is of course a commonplace of Christianity, 
and in itself would be no indication of the period to 
which the letters of Ignatius belong ; but it would be 
difficult to find at any time, except 90-112, a form so 
extreme as the thought reaches in Ignatius. He considers 
that even the slight recognition of the State, which is 
implied in asking for clemency to a condemned Christian, 

* I do not mean that in these documents the World means the 
State, and nothing else : the State is the most definite, concrete, and 
pressing form in which all that is implied in the phrase " the World" 
faces and opposes the Christians. The point of view in Ignatius 
and John is that the State is wholly summed up in " the World," 
that it is absolutely and exclusively bad, and opposed to the Church. 

t ovhkv <f)aiv6fi€Vov koXov. — Rui7l.y 3. 

\ ov 7r€ KTfxovTJs TO epyov dWa jx^yedovs icTTiv 6 ^(pLaTiavLaiJios, orav fXKrrJTai 
VTTo Koap-ov. — Ro77l.y 3. 

§ /x^ XtiXetre ^\r](jovv Xpicrrov Kocryibv de (niOvfie'iTe. — Roin.y /• 

XIII , Authorities for the Flavian Period. 3 1 5 

is treason to religion, and an unworthy compliance with 
the temptations of the World. 

The character and the thought of the letters of Ignatius, 
then, are those of a person whose mind had been formed 
in the period of the Flavian persecution, amid the same 
circumstances which led to the writing of the Apocalypse ; 
but at the same time there are some subtle indications that 
the feeling of Ignatius was, in this respect, not entirely 
^:hared by the Church. The Church in Rome, in spite of 
its glorious past history, is, as Ignatius hints {Roin.^ 2), 
disposed to seek favour with men, and to gain influence at 
the expense of compromise with the world. The obscure 
paragraph in Trail. ^ 4, seems to be a reply to a hope 
expressed by the Trallians through their messenger-bishop, 
that a person so important and distinguished as Ignatius 
might, after all, be spared to the Church through the exer- 
tions of the influential Romans,* Moreover, Ignatius seems 
always to feel it necessary to explain his attitude in respect 
to martyrdom, and to justify it. Hence arises the violence 
of expression which has offended many readers ; for a man 
is sometimes apt to compensate by strength of expression 
for weakness of reasoning, and Ignatius felt that the 
reasoning which we hypothetically attribute to the Trallians 
might be generally considered truer than his own. The 
very influence attributed to the Roman Church indicates 
a time when the policy of the State was not so uncom- 
promisingly hostile as we suppose it to have been before 
A.D. 112. If we were asked to specify the period which is 
best suited by these indications, we should have to name 

* This expression may have suggested the composition of the 
immediately following letter to the Romans (seeLightfoot, ii., p. i86). 
I assume that the order of the letters in Eusebius is chronological. 

3i6 The Church hi the Roman Empij^e. 

the co nclusion of Trajan's reign or the earlier year s of 
Hadrian's. We observe also that the Church in Antioch 
got peace from persecution soon after Ignatius was taken 
away ; * and he heard this news at Troas. This indicates 
a sporadic, rather than a settled action ; and takes us into 
the period of concession. 

The opinion with regard to the letters of Ignatius which 
has been advocated by Dr. Harnack is hardly consistent 
with this view. He quite admits the genuineness of the 
letters, but considers that there is no trustworthy evidence 
for dating Ignatius' martyrdom in the reign of Trajan ; 
he therefore places the journey to Rome and the com- 
position of the letters about 1 30-40. f It seems, however, 
improbable, if Ignatius had written so late, that his tone 
should be so different from that of the Apology of Aris- 
tides, and so like that of the Apocalypse. The tone that 
was roused by the Flavian persecution might naturally 
continue for some years after the relaxation of its severity 
by Trajan about 112; but it is difficult to admit that 
letters composed about 135 should be unaffected by the 
new spirit, of which Hadrian was the most thorough 
exponent. If the evidence of our ancient authorities with 
regard to the date of Ignatius pointed to the later date, 
we should have to accept it, and modify the view which 
is expressed in these and the following chapters. But 

* On this subject also there is a distinction between the letters 
from Smyrna and those from the Troad : cp. Philad., 10 ; Smyrna, 1 1 ; 
Polyc, 7 ; Ephes., 21 ; Magn., 14 ; Trail., 13 ; R0171., 9. 

t The possible confusion between the successive Emperors Ner\'a 
Trajan and Trajan Hadrian (according to their official names) has 
been appealed to as favouring the substitution of Trajan for Hadrian 
in tradition. See Harnack in Theolog. Literature, 1891, col. 304// ; 
he quotes the analogous case of the Apology of Aristides, 

XIII. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 3 1 7 

the evidence, though (as Dr. Harnack has shown) it is 
scanty and inconclusive, points to the same date which our 
view of the relations between Church and State indicates 
as most natural ; and therefore we adhere to the tradition, 
and date the letters not later than Trajan, and preferably 
between 112 and 117. 

Ignatius is the only individual Christian who is de- 
scribed as having been sent for public exhibition in the 
amphitheatre at Rome. But it is a well-attested fact that 
criminals were often utilised in this way ; and the con- 
demned Christians were treated by the Government in 
the same way as other criminals. The wider popularity 
of sports, both shows of wild beasts {venationes) with other 
exhibitions of the Roman style, and athletic contests in 
the Greek style, was one of many results of the spread of 
Graeco-Roman civilisation in the Eastern provinces during 
the second century. It is therefore probable that, in the 
age of the Antonines, criminals in the Eastern provinces 
were, with growing frequency, reserved for sports at home. 
There even grew up a custom among provincial governors 
of obliging one another in case of need with a gift of 
criminals for exhibition in the hunting scenes of the amphi- 
theatre ; and this custom had to be formally prohibited 
by a rescript of Severus and Caracalla 198-209 A.D. But 
in the time of Domitian and Trajan the case was different ; 
such criminals were not much needed in the Eastern pro- 
vinces, while they were in great request in Rome.* 

The enormous scale of the exhibitions in the Flavian 
amphitheatre, which is commonly known as the Colisseum, 

* Provincial governors were strictly forbidden from releasing 
criminals who had been condemned to the beasts, as a concession 
to the populace. Digest, 48, 19, 31. 

-^ 1 8 The Church in the Roman Empire. 


was probably the reason why this practice became so 
common at that time. The building was dedicated in 
A.D. 80, and Martial's earliest extant work, the Liber 
Spectaculorum, describes some of the more remarkable 
sights which were shown on the occasion. The reign of 
Trajan was also distinguished for the great scale of these 
disgusting exhibitions, which were a recognised part of the 
means employed by the Imperial policy for amusing and 
instructing the people under its fatherly care (Lft, i. 354). 

But though Ignatius is the only individual case which is 
known to us, the evidence of the Apocalypse, as explained 
by Mommsen,is clear that this practice was a common one 
in the case of Christians ; and we have one passing reference 
to it in a hitherto unexplained expression used by Ignatius 
in writing to the Church at "Ephesus : " Ye are a high road 
of them that are on their way to die unto God." * Ephesus 
was the chief port for the trade from the interior of Asia 
Minor, the leading city of Asia, and the place where the 
Roman governor was by regulation obliged to enter the 
province. Ignatius himself did not pass through it ; but 
the road by which he travelled was apparently an unusual 
one, due to some special circumstances. In ordinary 
circumstances, probably, he would have been sent from 
Syria by sea direct to Italy ; but he was conducted 
over land by Philadelphia, Smyrna, Troas, and Philippi 
to Rome.f Ephesus is the sea-end of the road along which 

* Tra/JoSos eVre rcoi/ eis Geov duaipovixevcov. — EpheS., 12. 

t It is needless to conjecture, with Zahn {Ign. v. Ant., p. 253, with 
whom Lightfoot is half disposed to agree, i, p. 362, ii., p. 211), 
that Ignatius sailed from Seleuceia to a Cilician or Pampbylian 
harbour, (i) The natural route to Philadelphia is by the Syrian 
and Cilician Gates ; and, unless there is evidence for an unusual 
route, we must suppose that the regular road was followed. (2) The 

XIII. Authorities for the Flavian Period. 3 1 9 

most of the criminals sent to Rome from the province of 
Asia would be led, and at Ephesus they would find ships 
to take them to Ostia.* 

words of Eusebius, H. E., iii. 36, more naturally suggest the land 
route, whatever be the value of his evidence. (3) The words in 
Ro7n., 5, " by land and sea," are rightly explained by Lightfoot, ii., 
p. 211, as referring to the entire journey. 

* The expression which Ignatius uses about Ephesus is similar 
to that which Clement uses of Corinth, § i : t'ls yap TrapeTn^rjixTjaas 
npos vpas ttju vpu>v . . . niaTiu ovk iboKipaaev ; on this passage Light- 
foot remarks in his commentary: " Corinth was a natural halting- 
place on the journey between Rome and the East" ; and in § lo 
and § 35 he alludes to the frequent occasion which the Church at 
Corinth had, to show hospitality to travellers. 

Note. — The date assigned in this chapter to i Peter depends 
entirely on the answer to the question proposed in the first paragraph 
on p. 242. I have answered the question in the negative. It is 
only right to warn the reader that Dr. Sanday in Expositor, June 
1893, and Professor Mommsen in Expositor, July 1893, both answer 
the question in the affirmative. So would Lightfoot have done, as 
we may infer with certainty from his position mentioned on p. 193. 
So also was Dr. Hort inclined to do, as he told me in June 1892. So 
also does a reviewer in the Guardia7i, May 17, 1893. ^ wrote with 
full deliberation, and defend my position in ExJ>ositor, July 1893. 



I. Hadrian, August iitii, 117, to July iotii, 138, a.d. 

I ^HE most important evidence about Hadrian's attitude 
■^ towards the Christians is his rescript addressed to 
Minucius Fundanus, who was proconsul of Asia about 
A.D. 124, a few years after Tacitus had filled the same 
office, and about twelve years after Trajan's rescript to 
Pliny had been issued. A word is needed on the question 
whether this important document is genuine. The ex- 
ternal evidence is, as Lightfoot says, " exceptionally strong : " 
it was quoted in full by Justin Martyr in his first Apology, 
addressed about A.D. 140 to Antoninus Pius, and was 
mentioned by Melito in his Apology addressed to Marcus 
Aurelius about thirty years later. Such evidence, of 
course, cannot be disbelieved, if the genuineness of the 
documents is admitted. But some modern critics, such as 
Keim, Aube, Lipsius, Overbeck, who have adopted a false 
view of the relations between the Church and the Empire, 
find that the rescript is very inconvenient for them. It is 
too clear and explicit to be misinterpreted in the way that 
they have misinterpreted Pliny's report and Trajan's rescript 
and it is irreconcilable with their view. Accordingly they 
declare that it must be a forgery. Justin refers to it only 
in the last chapter of his Apology, and this can easily be 

cut off. Hence for no reason except to save a hasty theory 


XIV. Policy of Hadrian, Fiits, and Marcus. 321 

from being still-born, the last chapter of the Apology is 
pronounced spurious. It would be difficult to surpass the 
childishness of the argument against the genuineness of 
the conclusion of Justin's Apology, but Keim surpasses it 
in his discussion of Melito's reference to the rescript. This 
reference cannot be eliminated from Melito's Apology, 
nor can the Apology be pronounced spurious. The only 
resource, therefore, is to consider that the rescript had been 
forged before Melito wrote, and was accepted by him as 
genuine. Now after Keim has cut away from Justin the 
chapter where the rescript is quoted, he finds, of course, 
that Justin does not refer to the rescript. Accordingly 
he argues that, as Justin knows nothing about Imperial 
letters, whereas Melito quotes the letter to Fundanus, 
the letter must have been forged in the interval.* It is 
really adding insult to injury, first to deprive Justin of his 
chapter appealing to the rescript, and then to quote him as 
a proof that the rescript had not yet come into existence. 
Justin does not quote Trajan's letter to Pliny, therefore it 
also must, by parity of reasoning, be spurious ; and we can 
date its origin as accurately as the origin of Hadrian's 
letter. Athenagoras, about 177, did not know of Trajan's 
letter, whereas Tertullian quotes it in his Apology about 
197 ; therefore it had been forged in the interval. How 
easy it is on this principle to prove and date the forgery of 
every ancient document ! 

The result of the polemic against the rescript is to bring 

* " Als Entstehungszeit wird ?na?i die Jahre von derjustiri'schen 

Apologie, welcher keine Kaiserbriefe kenntund ein Haupt?notiv zur 

Entstehimg derselben bat, bis zicm Beginn des aureV schen Ver- 

folgungssturmes {^Fri'ihjahr, 177) ansehen dilrfen, etwa 160-176, 

a7n ehesten dock das Jahr, 176." — Keim, Aus dejn Urchrist, p. 183." 


'J^'^ The C/mrck in the Roman E7i?pire. 


out more clearly its inconsistency with the views advocated 
by Keim, Aube, etc., as to the relations of the Church to 
the Empire, and to relieve us from the necessity of discuss- 
ing them. With regard to the perfect conformity of the 
rescript with the general history of the time, a very strong 
opinion has been pronounced by Mommsen, who says * 
that " the groundless suspicions cast on the genuineness of 
this document are the best proof how little capable recent 
writers are of understanding the attitude in which the 
Roman Government stood to the Christians." Lightfoot's 
remark of older date f is in full agreement with the opinion 
of the great historian : " not only is this rescript no stumb- 
ling-block when confronted with the history of the times. 
Some such action on the part of the Emperor is required 
to explain this history. . . . Short of actually rescinding 
the policy which made the profession of Christianity a 
crime, there must have been a vast amount of legal 

This rescript is on the same lines as that of Trajan, 
but goes beyond it in several points. 

(i) Its intention is defined as being to prevent innocent 
persons from being harassed and false accusers from being 
allowed free scope. 

(2) The provincials may indeed prosecute their suit against 
Christians before the tribunal of the governors, but they 
must bring forward evidence, and not confine themselves to 
petitions and shouting, " Away with the Christians ! " 

(3) Proof is required that the Christians have offended 
against the law. 

* Histor. Zft., xxviii., p. 420. 

t Ignatius, i., p. 462 (478, ed. ii.). 

XIV. Policy of Hadinan, Piits, and Marcus. 323 

(4) If the prosecutor fails to make good his case, he must 
be punished as a false accuser. 

There is in this rescript a studied vagueness in regard to 
the crimes of which proof is required. It is not expressly 
admitted, as it was by Trajan, that the Name is a crime ; 
on the other hand, that established principle is not rescinded. 
As to the offence against the law which must be proved 
against the Christians, it is quite open to any governor to 
consider that the Name is an offence ; but it would also be 
quite possible for him to infer from the rescript that some 
more definite crime must be proved. With this uncertainty 
facing him, the accuser might well dread failure and the 
consequent penalty. Everything would depend on the 
personal character of the judge ; and we can quite under- 
stand how one governor might readily find the case proved 
when the accused acknowledged the Name, whereas another 
might point out to the accused how they could answer 
the questions in such a way as to escape all penalty 
without violating their religion.* 

* This is said to have been done by Cincius Severus. (See Ter- 
tullian, ad Scap.^ iv.) He was, perhaps, proconsul of Africa between 
180 and 190. (See Tissot, Pastes de Prov. A/r.) An example may 
be given of the methods which Cincius Severus might suggest to the 
Christians. The oath per genhmi Ccssaris was forbidden to 
Christians, and was not used by them; but the oath per saliitem 
CcBsaris was lawful for them, and was a proper and widely recognised 
form among the pagans. A governor who was friendly towards the 
Christians might accept a solemn oath per salutem imperatoris 
or t?nperatorum as a sufficient guarantee of loyalty, and might enter 
in his records (Plin., ad Traj'., 96, 4; Digest., 48, 17, i, 2) that the 
accused person had complied with the test of loyalty, and shown 
due respect to the cultus of the emperors, while an unfriendly 
governor might demand a more satisfactory proof of loyalty. Ter- 
tullian approves of the oath per saliite?n, Apol., § 32, sed et juramus 
sicut non per genios Ccesarum, ita per salutem eorum. (The 

324 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

The Emperor himself, the Olympian god who roamed 
over the Empire, looking into every religion, initiated into 
various mysteries, was quite alive to the fact that the 
State religion was a sham, and, looked at as a religion, a 
failure ; but he knew also that it was the keystone of the 
Imperial policy, and he could not or would not face the 
task of altering it. He leaves the religious question quite 
open, and lets the rival sects fight it out for him to watch. 
In this ordinance about a religion he never alludes to the 
idea of religion. No other person could have written such 
a rescript ; and without any evidence we might have 
identified it as Hadrian's. That a Christian should have 
forged such a document without introducing some reference 
to religion is most improbable ; and had the idea not been 
maintained by such distinguished scholars as Keim, Lipsius, 
Overbeck, etc., we might have been tempted to use stronger 

Such action as that of Hadrian's was, of course, quite 
illogical, and could not continue as a permanent policy. 
The rescript was a sarcasm, and none knew this better than 
Hadrian himself But sarcasm is not government, and the 
Empire had to be governed. 

The rescript left to Hadrian's successors a difficult 
problem in their relations with the Christians. It did not 
settle any principle ; and one of the most important clauses 
in it was susceptible of very various interpretations. The 
most certain points in it were that Trajan's prohibition of 
seeking out the Christians was confirmed, and that the 

A^ologettczim v^3iS written in 197 A.D., when two Caesars were reign- 
ing.) Dio Cassius, xliv., 50, says, 01 ti]v re vyUiav rrjv re Tvxr]v 
otyLvvo-av. Numerous inscriptions show how common was the formula 
Inrep crcoTrjpins tov AvTOKparopos. 

XIV, Policy of Hadrian, Pius, and Marcus. 325 

prosecutor who failed to make out his case was to be 
punished for false accusation {caliunnid). But still the 
settled principle remained in operation, that any Christian 
might be ordered to execution at any time by any governor 
of a province. The most important effect of such acts as 
those of Trajan and Hadrian was to require some definite ^f^ 
person, willing to take on himself the invidious character 
of accuser (which had hitherto been almost equivalent to 
murderer) of some definite person. 

There are many indications that various circumstances 
might originate a short and temporary enforcement of the 
general law and practice. But apart from this, in the period 
on which we are now engaged, the Christians must have 
been, to a considerable extent, protected against accusers 
by their own strength and union. The professional accuser 
{delator), though necessitated and encouraged by the 
Roman laws,* was always highly unpopular.! Even in our 
own country a private prosecutor has always to face a certain 
prepossession against him, which can be overcome only by 
a complete proof of the justice of his plea. But in the 
Mediterranean lands there is a much stronger feeling, for 
law and police are tacitly regarded as enemies to the in- 
dividual citizen to an extent that we can hardly under- 
stand, at least after we have ceased to be boys at school ; 
and the same feeling existed in ancient times. Occasionally 
revenge produced a delator; but usually an accuser was 
actuated by hopes of gain. In free Rome of the Republic, 
political advancement was sometimes the inducement ; 
but generally the actual rewards in money or position, 

* There was no public accuser, and many laws were inoperative 
unless private initiative set them in motion, 
t Compare Horace, Saf. /, 4, 66. 

326 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

promised in several individual laws to successful prose- 
cutors, elicited delator es. In the case of prosecutions on 
the charge of Christianity, no such rewards were to be 
obtained ; the delator would not win permanent approval 
even from those who hated the Christians, and who might 
encourage him at the moment. An isolated accuser 
would have much to lose, and could, in general, have 
little chance of gaining anything. Finally, the hatred of 
a united and energetic body like the Christians w^ould, 
in itself, be a serious penalty, and, in places where Chris- 
tianity was very strong, might be a sufficient deterrent to 
any single prosecutor. The hatred which was popularly 
entertained for the Christians during the century following 
64 A.D. was too intense not to contain a considerable element 
of fear. In modern h.\s\.ory, the Judeiihass diwd Judenhetze 
are strongest where the Jews are thought dangerous. 

An example of the strong feeling entertained by the 
Christians against any who had been instrumental in 
procuring the condemnation of Christians, is found in the 
action in A.D. 320 against the Christians who, in the great 
persecution by Diocletian and Maximian, had played the 
part of informers, or had delivered up to destruction copies 
of the sacred books {traditores). 

How then were accusers found in the face of such 
deterrent motives? In the first place, from disturbance of 
trade. This is a subject on w^hich we have very little 
information ; but that trade was highly developed and very 
influential in the Asiatic societies is obvious. We have 
already referred to the strike of the bakers in Magnesia 
(p. 200), which produced such serious consequences as to 
require the intervention of the procon^l. The circum- 
stances which led to the outbreak of persecutions in the 

XIV. Policy of Hadrian, PiffS, and Marcus. 327 

second century are almost wholly unknown to us, and no 
case in point later than the hypothetical one of 112 (which 
has been already alluded to) is known ; yet it is highly 
probable that combined action of a whole trade was 
occasionally instrumental in prompting the action of the 
Government against the Christians. 

In the second place, motives of a personal nature, such as 
revenge, might occasionally induce individuals to face the ^' 
odium and appear as delatores. An example of this occurs 
in the case of Ptolemaeus, who was prosecuted before the 
prefect of the city, Lollius Urbicus, about 152.* 

But the great danger lay in popular excitement produced 
by some sudden cause, some general calamity, or signs, 
prodigies, and prophecies, which either made the multitude 
by a unanimous impulse act as accuser, or raised individuals 
beyond the influence of motives which, in saner moments 
would weigh with them. As Tertullian puts it : "If the 
Tiber rises, if the Nile does not rise, if the heavens give 
no rain, if there is an earthquake, famine, or pestilence, 
straightway the cry is, ' The Christians to the lions ! ' " t 

Hence we see how strong Hadrian's rescript was, for it 
expressly forbade the shouts of a crowd to be received as an 
accusation, and required some definite individual to appear 
and to take the risk of punishment if he failed to prove his 

That proceedings against the Christians were not quite 
discontinued under Hadrian must be taken as certain. The 
general principle of proscription had not been abrogated, 

* See Borghesi, QLt{v?^es, ix., 295 ; Justi?!, ii. Apolog.^ 2. Lig-htfoot, 
Igfiat i. p. 509, gives the date 155-160, after Borghesi, viii. 545 ; but 
in the later vol. (1884) Borghesi incUnes to an eadier date. 

t A;polog., 40. 

328 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

and the evidence as to this and the following reigns is 
clear. Lightfoot is on this point not so accurate and logical 
as he generally is,* except in his concluding phrase, that 
our knowledge is too scanty to permit the inference that 
no prosecutions of Christians took place under Hadrian. 
But when he disposes of all the Acta which assign martyr- 
doms to this reign, on the ground that " the reign of Hadrian 
was a convenient receptacle for these real or supposed 
martyrdoms which were without a date," it is impossible to 
follow him. The reign of Domitian, who in all later time 
was one of the typical persecutors, was equally convenient^ 
and was comparatively empty ; so also was the reign of 
Trajan. There occur under Hadrian more martyrdoms 
about which detailed Acta are preserved, than under 
Domitian or Trajan ; but the reason is that Hadrian 
was later, and nearer the time when Christian historians 
flourished. More actual names of individuals were remem- 
bered under his reign ; but even in their case, hardly 
anything of perfectly authentic character is preserved. 
The Acta are fabulous, or nearly so ; but that does not 
warrant the rejection of the tradition as unhistorical, or the 
assertion that martyrs attested by the older martyrologies 
are purely fictitious (pp. 405/2, 434/0- 

Nor can we accept Lightfoot's explanation that here 
" misinterpretation of Eusebius' words " by Jerome origin- 
ated the belief in a persecution under Hadrian. Eusebius' 
statement is that Quadratus composed his Apology because 
" certain wicked men were endeavouring to molest our 
people " ; and Lightfoot holds that " the implication is that 
they were thwarted in their endeavours." This seems too 

* Ignat. and Pol., i., p. 507. 

KiV. Policy of IladritDi, Pius, ajid I\ I arc its. 329 

strong an inference. Quadratus, a private citizen in 
Athens, conld become aware of such endeavours only 
through their resulting in action. Hadrian did not hold 
a public discussion as to his policy, but the Christians, 
finding that he was disposed to relax in some degree the 
severity of the standing policy, and hoping that he would 
listen to argument, began to defend their cause in formal 
Apologies. That Eusebius knew few facts regarding 
Hadrian's action is certain ; but his comparative ignorance 
was due to the dearth of authorities. The Apology of 
Aristides is itself the best proof that a defence and a 
protest against the accepted policy were thought necessary 
by the Christians.* But after all deductions are made, the 
fact remains that the lot of the Christians in this reign 
must have been comparatively a happy one after their 
experiences before A.D. 112. 

Rescripts such as that addressed by Hadrian to Fundanus 
were secret and confidential documents. We learn the 
exact terms of some, in whole or in part, in ways not 
contemplated by the writers, and quite apart from their 
nature. Trajan's was published — of course with the 
Emperor's permission^ — in the collected correspondence that 
passed between him and Pliny ; and many fragments of 
others are quoted in the law books, and thus preserved to 
us. Hadrian's was quoted by Justin Martyr about twenty 
years or less after it was written. How had it become 
known to the Christians ? This is a point of some 
interest, but an answer cannot be given with certainty. 
Possibly Hadrian himself may have intentionally allowed 

* The view of Professor Rendel Harris is that Aristides addressed, 
not Hadrian, but the succeeding Emperor Hadrianus Antoninus, 
in the beginning of his reign. 

330 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

it to be brought to their knowledge. But, so far as I can 
judge, it is more probable that its terms became known to 
them through their influence in the province of Asia and 
in the bureau {officimit) of the proconsul. That suppo- 
sition is quite in accordance wath the general impression we 
receive, that the new religion was very widespread and 
influential in this and the neighbouring provinces before the 
middle of the second century. We find an example which 
has some bearing on this point in the case of Florinus, who 
was listening to Polycarp's lectures in Smyrna along with 
Irenaeus, while he was attending the Imperial court and 
enjoying high favour there. The exact date and the 
precise circumstances are as yet a matter of conjecture. In 
the great uncertainty about Ircnaeus' birth and early life 
the facts may belong to any time between 135 and 150. 
But it is quite probable that an inscription may any day 
be found giving a clue to the circumstances and time when 
an imperial visit, otherwise unknown to us, was made to 
Asia during this period.* 

It is of course possible that the Christians bought a copy 
of the rescript. Many instances are recorded in which 
they purchased from the clerks {coinmentarienses) copies 
of the official shorthand report of the proceedings at trials 
of martyrs, and these official Acta form the groundwork of 
many of the tales of martyrs, and are even reproduced 
verbatim in some of the best and most authentic accounts.f 
The rescript w^ould certainly be preserved in the proconsular 
archives of the province of Asia.| 

* This is a fair example how much may reasonably be expected 
from the progress of investigation and discovery. 

+ Le Blant, Actes des Martyrs, pp. 65 and 70. 

X Archiviirn ^roco7isulis is the phrase used by St. Augustin in 
reference to Africa {co7itra Crescu7iium, iii., 80^70), Le Blant, pp. 63-4. 

XIV. Policy of Hadrian, Pins, and Marcus. 331 

2. Antoninus Pius, July ioth, 138, to 
March /th, a.d. 161. 

The more liberal procedure of Trajan and Hadrian was, 
on the whole, maintained in this reign. The general tone 
of the rescript to Fundanus seems to have characterised 
the letters addressed by Antoninus Pius to several cities of 
Greece and Thrace, forbidding disorderly procedure against 
the Christians.* These letters confirmed the section in 
Hadrian's rescript, ordering that mere tumultuous shouting 
should not be taken as a formal accusation of the Christians. 
They required that the proper procedure before the 
governors of the provinces should be observed, and for- 
bade any riotous action on the part of the populace. In 
this very restriction, however, it is implied that the regular 
formal procedure was still maintained, and was, in the opinion 
of the Emperor, fully adequate to the requirements of the 
case. As to the facts which occasioned these letters, we 
may assume with some confidence that tumultuous action, 
similar to that which took place at Smyrna in A.D. 155 
against Polycarp, had occurred in various other cities about 
the same time ; and the Emperor wrote to the Athenians, 
Larissaeans, Thessalonians, and the Greek cities in general,! 

* The reasoning of Neumann (p. 28), Overbeck {Studten zur 
Geschichte, etc., p. 146 ff.), and others, about these letters is vitiated 
by their wrong interpretation of the phrase \xr]hkv vccorepiCeiv. This 
does not indicate " innovations," as they understand it, but riotous 
and tumultuous action. In the Latin original novcs res was, no 
doubt, the phrase. Lightfoot rightly translates the phrase, Ignat., 
i., 459. The letters are mentioned by Melito, in a lost Apology 
addressed to Marcus Aurelius, and quoted by Eusebius,Zr. E., iv., 26. 

t Among these Smyrna is included. The phrase is not " cities of 
the province Achaia," but "all Hellenes," which includes those of 
the ^gean coast. Compare the coin on which the people of Tralles 
claim to be the " First of the Greeks," see above, p. 157 n. 

332 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

reminding them of the actual state of public law, and 
warning them against stretching municipal action too far, 
and encroaching on the powers of the Imperial Govern- 
ment (see p. 393/").* 

The action of the citizens of Smyrna was in direct dis- 
obedience to the rescript of Hadrian ; but the rescript was 
in advance of public feeling, and was therefore liable 
to be disregarded. It seems also clear that the pro- 
consul was a weak official. This is shown by his attitude 
towards the mob. His inclination and sense of duty urged 
him to give Polycarp a further hearing and a formal trial, 
if he could " prevail upon the people ; " but their shouts 
impelled him to order, or rather to permit, immediate 
execution.! We may suppose that the passions and fears 
of the mob were strongly excited by some recent great 
calamity, for many events of that kind are mentioned in 
the reign of Pius.J In Smyrna a serious earthquake had 
occurred not long before, A.D. 151 or 152 apparently. § 

This series of outbreaks of popular feeling in the Greek 
cities points to some widely spread cause ; and the cir- 
cumstances of the following reign show that the cause was 

* This point of view is involved in vewTepl^ftv and Tioz'ce res. The 
precise time when the letters to the cities were written is not re- 
corded. Melito implies that it was after the assumption of Marcus 
Aurelius as Caesar in A.D. 147 ; and the reasoning in the text shows 
that it was probably soon after the action of the Smyrnaeans in 
A.D. 155. 

t See § 10 of the letter of the Smyrnzcans. 

I Script. Hist. Aug., iii., Vit. Anto?z., 9. 

§ Lightfoot, Ignat. i., p. 461, following Waddington, Pastes, 
§ 141 ; but the latter gets his date from the forged letter of An- 
toninus to the Koinon of Asia, which he assigns to A.D. 152, whereas 
Mommsen and Lightfoot, p. 483, put it in 158. Probably the date 
for the earthquake is pretty accurate. 

XIV. Policy of Hadrian, Pitts, and Marcus. 333 

a general rev ival o f paganism in a more philosophic and 
reasoned form. 

A larger body of detailed information is extant about 
the sufferings of individual martyrs under Antoninus Pius 
than under Hadrian. Lightfoot has clearly shown this,* 
but we need not infer that the Christians really suffered 
more. We are now coming nearer the period when regular 
contemporary registration of Christian history began ; and 
moreover, the extraordinary personal importance of Poly- 
carp secured the preservation of the facts of his death. 

The language of Justin and of Minucius Felix is con- 
clusive as to the existence of persecution in this reign. 
In his first Apology Justin appeals direct to the Emperor 
against the principle now enforced that the mere Name is 
a capital offence. He argues against it on the ground of 
justice and legality, and quotes the rescript to Fundanus as 
a proof that Hadrian was opposed to it. He did not find 
it serve his purpose to quote Trajan's rescript, which 
expressly affirmed the principle ; and his silence about the 
rescript is no argument that he did not know it. The later 
rescript of Hadrian might fairly be considered as over- 
ruling the earlier.t But he does not refer to the actual 
seeking out of Christians as practised by the Government 
officials, and we shall see that in this respect the authorities 
for the succeeding reign differ greatly from him. 

A procedure conforming to the rescripts of Hadrian 

* Ignat. and Pol., i., p. 509. 

t I need not quote all the passages in Justin, which are numerous. 
(See Lightfoot, Ignat. and Pol., i., p. 534.) The date of Minucius 
not later than A.D. i6o appears to Lightfoot established by the 
passages quoted by Schwenke. I have not the right to express 
any opinion on the date of Minucius ; but, if the words are pressed 
in that way, they point to a period before A.D. 147. 

334 ^^^^ Church in the Roman Empire. 

and Antoninus was employed in the case of Ptolemaeus 
and Lucius. Neither of them was sought out by the 
prefect, LoUius Urbicus, but private accusers came forward 
against the former, and the latter offered himself volun- 
tarily.* The exception in the case of Polycarp has been 
shown to be an infraction of the established rule. 

A good example of the action which a Roman official 
might take at the time is furnished by the case of Pudens, 
who, as Neumann has shown, was probably proconsul of 
Cyrene and Crete a few years before i66.t He expressly 
declared that he was forbidden by the instructions 
{inandatimi) of the Emperor to investigate the case of a 
Christian, unless a formal accuser appeared ; and, after 
tearing up the document of accusation which was sent 
along with the prisoner, he dismissed him on the ground 
that no individual prosecutor had come forward. 

3. Marcus Aurelius, March 7TH, 161, to 
March 17TH, 180. 

The larger policy of Trajan and Hadrian was not under- 
stood by Marcus Aurelius. His ideal was to be the true 
Roman ; and a decided reaction towards the older narrow 
Roman policy is apparent during his reign. He could not 
of course " stem the torrent of descending time " ; ideas 

* Lollius was, according- to Borghesi, ;prcBfectus urbi about 152. 
See note, p. 327. 

t Tertullian, ad Scap., iv. The usual view is that Pudens was 
proconsul of Africa when the incident occurred ; but Neumann's 
reasoning estabhshes the strong probabihty of his case. If the 
usual view were correct, Pudens' proconsulate would have to be 
dated under Commodus ; for his action is contrary to the character 
of procedure under Marcus, but similar in style to that of Cincius 
Severus, which has been quoted previously (p. 323). 

XIV, Policy of Hadrian, Pitts, and Marcus. 335 

enlarged, policy widened, and the conception of Rome 
developed insensibly and inevitably. But philosophic 
leanings now no longer inclined toward Christianity and 
against the Imperial rule, as in the Flavian period. The 
Cynics indeed were still in opposition to the narrower 
policy, and championed the cosmopolitan spirit, which was 
steadily marching towards its final triumph. But popular 
dilettante Greek philosophy was no longer on the side of 
the opposition. It was now seated on the throne ; and for 
the time the Imperial policy coquetted with other favourites, 
and lost sight of the goal towards which history was 

Christian thought was diametrically opposed to the 
Greek ideals of social life ; * and for a time, while the 
retrogressive tendency in the Imperial policy lasted, a 
union took place of the Roman power and the Greek I 
philosophic influence, in opposition to the Christian re- • 
organisation of society. They allied themselves with the '! 
current religions, and tried to make explicit in the cere- 
monial paganism the higher ideas, which certainly were 
latent beneath the gross and detestable exterior of its 
mystic rites. Paganism, which the Imperial policy had 
throughout the first century, from Augustus to Domitian, 
tried in vain to galvanise into life, began even under 
Hadrian to feel, under the stimulus of opposition to 
Christianity, the pulse of returning life. The mysteries 
set before the initiated a doctrine which might com- 
pete with Christian doctrine, and might prove that the 
higher truths of life and morality had been stolen from 

* I do not refer here to questions of morality. The introduction 
of the purest morality into Greek ideals would have left them still 
essentially opposed to the Christian principles of society. 

336 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

them by the Christians. Already in 134 A.D., Hadrian 
was greatly interested in watching the contest between the 
doctrines of Christianity and the mysticism of the religion 
of Serapis, which he considered to be of much the same 
character and rank.* 

It seems clear that during this reign the active pursuit 
of the Christians became a marked feature. Celsus in his 
True Word speaks of them as being sought out for exe- 

The evidence of the Christian writers is to the same effect. 
Melito, about 1 70-1 71, refers to new edicts, according to 
which the Christians are pursued.:|: Such persecution he 
declares to be unprecedented. 

It would also appear, if Melito can be trusted, that re- 
wards were promised to informers from the property of 
the accused ; for the informers are said to be greedy for 
property of others, and to spoil the innocent by day and 
by night. 

Athenagoras, about 177-180, also refers to the harassing, 
plundering, and persecution of the Christians, and the fines 
imposed on them (which are probably the rewards given to 
informers). He speaks also in strong terms about the 
Name being sufficent proof of guilt, and entailing death.§ 

* See the letter to Servianus, quoted in Script. Hist. Aug., xxix., 
{Vita Saturnini) 8 ; Lightfoot, Ignat. and Pol., i., p. 480. 

t See Origen, c. Celsu?n, viii., 69. The date of Celsus' work has 
been the subject of much discussion, but it may be probably placed 
in this reign, when conjoint Emperors were in power, either in 161-169, 
or 177-180. The variation between the singular and the plural in 
referring to the sovereign authority is characteristic of many docu- 
ments of the period. (See p. 249.) 

X Quoted by Eusebius, H. £., iv., 26 : Kaiva fioy/xara, npoaTayixaTa. 

§ Libellus ;pro Christianis, I. etc. 

XIV. Policy of Hadrian, Pins, and Marats. 337 

Thcophilus of Antioch, about 180, also mentions that 
the Christians were pursued and sought out in his time.* 

The Acts of Martyrs give similar evidence. The 
governor of Gallia Lugduncnsis sought out the Christians 
in 177 ; and already at the beginning of the reign, Justin 
Martyr and four companions were brought before Junius 
Rusticus, Prefect of the City in 163. In the beginning 
of the Acta Justiin, it is said that the arrest was made in 
accordance with decrees enforcing worship of idols on 
the part of the Christians. It is clearly implied that the 
accused were sought out by officers in consequence of 
these decrees, and were not formally accused by any indi- 
vidual. Having acknowledged their religion, they are 
ordered to sacrifice, and the order is repeated with threats 
of severe punishment. 

The seeking out of Christians, then, is a marked feature \ 
in all documents relating to the time of Marcus Aurelius ; 
whereas there is not a trace of evidence that it was practised 
under Antoninus Pius, and it had been forbidden by 
Trajan and Hadrian. Keim has correctly observed that 
it begins under Marcus Aurelius ; f but we hold that this 
was the re-introduction of the Flavian practice, the only 
logical course when Christianity was a crime. 

* The word Stcofcouo-t, which he uses, reminds us that the officials 
cliarged with this duty and commanded by the Eirenarch were 
styled 8ia)yjLiirai. See O. Hirschfeld, die Sicherheitspolizei im r'dm. 
Kaiserreich^ p. 28 {Berl. Sitzungsber., 1891, p. 872). 

t " Unter M. Aurel ka7n die Verfolgung des ' Atheismus ' recht 
im Schwung und unter ihm erst kam es zur Aufsuchung der 
Christen^ — Aiis dem Urchrist., p. 99. Justin, in his first Apology, 
written under Pius, is emphatic about the Name being a capital 
crime ; but he makes no reference to the seeking out of Christiana 
or to rewards for accusers. 


33^ The Church in the Roman Einpire. 

These facts prove clearly that new methods were intro- 
duced by Marcus Aurelius, at least in the sense that pro- 
ceedings against the Christians were enforced more actively, 
though the penalties rem.ained the same. The question 
arises how this was brought about. Was it by a general 
edict ? Was it by a clause inserted in the general instruc- 
tions to governors ? Or did the governors merely act on 
the knowledge that the Emperor was inclined to act logically 
in respect of the Christians, and, as they were criminals 
deserving death, to seek them out actively ? 

Some expressions occurring in the documents of the 
period would, if taken strictly, imply that an edict on the 
subject was issued. But probably they are simply rather 
loose phrases, which must not be taken too strictly. Melito, 
who speaks of " new decrees " in one place, uses in another 
the term " instructions." * The latter term is probably the 
right one ; the action towards the Christians was guided by 
the Imperial instructions to provincial governors (inajidatd). 
These instructions, as has been shown, were susceptible of 
varying interpretation, according to the feeling of the 
governor and the tone of the reigning Emperor. During 
this reign the general revival of religious feeling would 
naturally lead to a stricter and logical interpretation of the 
instructions ; especially as it would rapidly become known 
that the Emperor was not opposed to this course. 

The question remains, whether there was any actual 
change made in the instructions by Marcus ? Neumann 
considers, p. 33 n.^ that there had previously been actually 
a clause in the instructions, forbidding the seeking out of 

* Kmva boynara, nova decreta^ in the former case, Trpoo-rdyiMaTa, 
matidata, in the latter. In Acta 'Jiistint, i., also the word is 

XIV. Policy of Hadriaiiy Pius, and Marcus, 339 

Christians, and that this prohibition was abrogated by 
Marcus. He quotes the action of Pudens, as above 
described ; but it is very doubtful whether the proof is 
sufficient. Such a clause may perhaps have been inserted 
in the instructions issued by Hadrian and Pius to their 
lieutenants in the provinces ; but the variability of pro- 
cedure would rather suggest that the inconsistencies which 
we have described continued to exist throughout this whole 
century, and that none of the Emperors did anything 
beyond replying by rescript to questions which their 
lieutenants addressed to them. The lieutenants had the 
general instructions to seek out and punish sacrilegious per- 
sons, etc., and Christians were sacrilegious. The lieutenants 
might then either carry out the instructions logically, or 
observe the rescripts of Trajan and Pladrian forbidding 
the hunting out of Christians. Under Marcus the logical 
course was the rule. 

We conclude, then, that no actual change was made by 
Marcus Aurelius in the wording of the clauses that regu- 
lated the attitude of the provincial governors towards the 
Christians. He did not professedly alter the policy of his 
immediate predecessors, and yet the spirit of that policy 
was, for a time, changed. 

Far more cases of persecution are known in this than in 
the preceding reign ; hut no stress can be laid on this fact. 
Contemporary record of historical facts had now begun 
among the Christians, and the interest in preserving 
Christian documents and the Acta of martyrs dates from 
about the sixth decade of this century. The principle of 
proscription still continued ; and persecution had never 
ceased even under the most tolerant Emperors. 

Neumann's view (p. 32) is very different. He traces the 

340 The Church in the Roman Empire. 


intensification of persecution in this reign to a rescript, 
dated, according to liis view, in A.D. 176, forbidding the 
introduction of new religious rites which tended to unsettle 
the minds of the people. This view we cannot accept. 
(i) It does not explain the facts, for the seeking out of Chris- 
tians seems to have been practised before \']6{Acta Justmi^ 
163, Melito, perhaps 170). (2) The rescript was merely a 
reply to some question addressed to the Emperor, and does 
not appear to have been the basis of procedure against 
Christians, for it was approved by Christian Emperors, 
and retained in the Digest. (3) In 177 the Christians 
at Lugdunum do not appear to have been punished for 
proselytising ; nor did they suffer the milder penalties of 
this rescript.* The procedure is the same as of old, but 
carried out with more activity. 

Coincident with the change of policy there was a revival 
of the old charge oi flagitia against the Christians. It is 
quoted from Fronto, the tutor of Marcus, and it is mentioned 
in connection with the persecution at Lugdunum in 177. 
The evidence of slaves was used in support of it ; and the 
statements made even by Christian writers, not very much 
later, about actual scandals, suggest that the revival was 
only an exaggeration of real evils. 

4. The Apologists. 

With Hadrian's rescript begins the age of Apologies — • 
i.e,y formal defences of the faith. Christianity had now a 
hearing granted to it. Before 112, when the religion was 

* Neumann quotes the expression of the populace at Lugdunum, 
^evT}v Tiva Koi KaivfjU dadyovai OprjcrKeiav, Euseb., /J^. ^. , V. , I, 63 ; but 
this phrase was not used in the trial, nor did the thought affect the 
proceedings. Neumann follows Keim in his dating, see p. 321 n. 

XIV. Policy of Hadrian, Pius, and Marcns. 341 

absolutely condemned, an Apology would have been 
absurd. Now that the Imperial policy was hesitating 
about its attitude, and a trial was allowed, defence and 
argument might have some effect ; and a long series of 
formal pleadings in defence were addressed to the Govern- 
ment, beginning, perhaps, about 129, when Aristides 
presented his Apology to Hadrian during his visit to 

Defence and argument imply a recognition of the 
authority to which it is addressed. The spirit of which 
we discerned some slight indications in Ignatius' letters 
(see p. 315), had developed greatly before the first Apology 
was presented. In the age which produced i John and 
Apocalypse, and which nourished the spirit of Ignatius, 
an Apology would have been treason to religion. The 
irreconcilable opposition to the actual system, and the 
aspiration after an absolutely new era and a new society, 
had now been given up. The Church responded to the 
tone of Hadrian's action : mutual allowance and an 
approximation between the two great enemies began. 

The Apologists always express or imply with regard 
to the character of Trajan's action the same view that 
we have taken. It is indeed true that the Apologists 
were special pleaders, and that their testimony in certain 
respects must be discounted to a certain degree. But 
they were advocates of at least fair ability and good sense ; 

* The Apology is noticed in Euseb., H. E., iv., 3, and dated in 
Ckron., A.D. 125 ; but Hadrian's second visit is the only one that 
can be thought of. Professor Rendel Harris brings down the date 
to 140. Eusebius seems to treat Hadrian's rescript as the effect of 
the Apology] but this is, no doubt, pure conjecture, and we rather 
consider the Apology as elicited by the rescript. 

342 The Church in the Roman Eiupire, 

misrepresentation of the Imperial action was subject to 
immediate contradiction, and could only injure their cause. 
They would naturally darken the colours of the picture 
which they drew of contemporary paganism ; they saw 
only the bad side of it, and no student of ancient life can 
accept their account as complete. But, if the view that 
Trajan was the institutor of formal persecution were correct, 
it is hard to see how sane men could think to effect any 
good by misstating plain facts of recent history to the 
Emperors. The Apologists of the second century stand 
on a much higher intellectual level, if our interpretation 
of the evidence is correct. 

The objection may be urged against the credit of the 
Apologists that Tertullian speaks of Marcus Aurelius in 
terms much more favourable than facts seem to warrant* 
But, as we have seen, Marcus did not formally make 
any change in the policy of his predecessors, though he 
favoured a more severe interpretation of the clauses on 
which that policy was based ; and he ranks, in a general 
view, with Trajan, Hadrian, and Pius, as contrasted with 
the uncompromising spirit of the Flavian Emperors ; and 
this is all that Tertullian asserts. f 

Moreover, it is obvious that Tertullian firmly believed 
in the existence of a letter from Aurelius to the Senate, 
ascribing to Christian soldiers the merit of a great deliver- 
ance from imminent danger during his German wars. It 
is impossible, and, unless new documents are discovered 
(of which hope need not be abandoned), it must always 

* Apolog., 5. 

t Tertullian expressly notes that Marcus did not alter the general 
principle of condemning Christians. This is exactly what we have 
to remark about all these Emperors. 

XIV. Policy of Hadrian, Pius, and Marcus. 343 

remain impossible, to discover the truth of that famous 
legend. So much is certain : (i) such a deliverance did 
occur, and was universally attributed to the special in- 
terposition of Heaven ; (2) there were many Christian 
soldiers in the army ; * (3) the Christians at the time 
attributed the deliverance to the prayers of these soldiers,! 
(4) pagan historians narrated the almost miraculous event, 
but explained it differently. It is not safe to assert abso- 
lutely, what is the most simple explanation, that Tertullian 
merely assumes that there existed a letter of Marcus to 
the Senate, declaring that the deliverance had followed the 
prayers of the Christians, and denouncing penalties against 
their accusers. This explanation is apparently simple ; 
but it leaves unsolved the greatest difficulty of the case — 
viz., how could Tertullian entertain the belief which he 
expresses so positively in a document addressed to the 
Senate, if it were contrary to all facts and all non-Christian 
evidence and belief? It is clear that Tertullian was not 
conscious that any opinion different from his own existed, 
or that any member of the Senate would be likely to 

* In accordance with the method of recruiting the Roman army, 
as deduced by Mommsen, Hermes, 1884, pp. 8 ft", and stated very 
precisely for Africa by Cagnat, V Ar7nee Romaine d^Afrique, 
PP- 353 ff> Legio XII. Fulminata, whose permanent station 
{stativa) was at Melitene, would be originally recruited from the 
Eastern provinces; but after Hadrian (Mommsen, p. 21) the 
recruiting for it would be almost wholly restricted to the adjacent 
provinces of Asia Minor. Christianity was specially strong in 
these provinces; "and," as Mommsen remarks {Histor. Zft., 
xxviii., p. 419, n. 2), "■ the camp and the court were always centres 
of Christianising influence." 

t Apollinaris is strictly contemporary ; Tertullian wrote within 
about twenty-three years of the event. 

344 '^^^^ CJmrch in the Roman Empire. 

challenge his statement. There seems to be more in the 
story than we can as yet fathom. 

The_Apologists do not ask for a change of^law.; they 
ask for a regulation of practice to accord with the law of 
the State. They demand for Christians a fair trial on some 
definite charge, attested by witnesses, with permission to 
make and prove their defence. They ask to be brought 
under the ordinary law ; and they inveigh against the 
exercise of arbitrary authority against them on no definite 
charge. This, the most elementary right of citizens, had 
been absolutely denied them by the Flavian policy, which 
treated them as brigands. Trajan had left the Flavian 
principle unaltered, but had exempted them from active 
pursuit. The Apologists justly argue against the illogical 
nature of a policy which treats them like brigands when 
any one formally accuses them, but does not take the 
trouble to look for them : if they are brigands, it is the 
duty of the State to hunt them down. Even Hadrian had 
shrunk from the decisive step of clearly stating that Chris- 
tianity was not in itself a crime ; and this is the step 
which the Apologists urge upon the Emperors whom they 

In support of this claim the Apologists advance various 
arguments : (i) that their religion has a high moral tone, 
and is absolutely inconsistent with the gross crimes which 
were currently charged against them ; (2) that it is of a 
higher moral character than Paganism, and is therefore an 
educative influence in the State ; (3) that Christians are 
loyal citizens, and, though they are compelled by their 
religion to abstain from some of the conventional signs of 
loyalty, yet in all essential points they discharge its duties 
fully ; (4) that a name is not in itself a crime, and that 

XIV, Policy of Hadrian, Pius, and Marcus. 345 

even a brigand is not punished for the name he bears, but 
only after the truth has been proved in regard to his 

An essential point in the Christian doctrine was the 
unity and brotherhood of all men ; and the same idea 
was being gradually wrought into the Imperial system. 
Trajan and Hadrian, two Spaniards, free from the nar- 
lower Roman tradition, were, not unnaturally, the leaders 
in the policy of mercy towards the party that carried out 
most logically the idea which they themselves did much 
to work out in practice. Tatian expresses this idea more 
clearly than any other of the Apologists, and contrasts it 
with the theories of Greek philosophy, which always clung 
to the old separation of states, and the belief that moderate I 
size was of the essence of a state. In § 28 he professes the 
cosmopolitan doctrine, and rejects the narrower systems 
which separate state from state. The true philosophy 
maintains that there should be one common polity for all, 
and one universal system of law and custom. The Christian 
doctrine, § 29, puts an end to the servitude that is in the 
world, and rescues mankind from a multiplicity of rulers. 
Its aim, § 32, is universal education, not education confined 
to the rich, as among the Greeks and Romans ; its prin- 
ciple is free education to the poor, and it makes no 
distinction of sex, but admits all to its universal system 
of education. He defends, § 33, the Christian custom of 
women studying philosophy.* 

* Tatian did not address any Emperor; but he employs similar 
arguments with the other Apologists, sometimes expressing them 
more sharply. Tertullian's A^pologeticum would need a chapter to 




E have now determined the main facts in regard to 
the action of the State towards the Christians 
before A.D. 170. We have next to inquire into the reason 
why the Empire proscribed this sect. The question is 
presented to us as a paradox : the Empire being remarkably- 
tolerant, as a general rule, in religious matters, what reason 
was there for the persecution of this religion ? 

I. Popular Hatred of the Christians. 

There can be no doubt that the dislike generally enter- 
tained towards the Christians was an element in deter- 
mining the attitude of the Emperors and their delegates 
towards them. The governors, and even the Emperors to 
a less degree, acted in some cases simply to conciliate the 
populace, and keep it in good humour. The action of Nero 
was, as we have seen, turned against the Christians through 
his wish to supplant one passion by another in the popular 
mind. Having private reasons for seeking to divert the 
populace, he tortured for their amusement a class of persons 
whom they hated. 

We have found reason to think that at first Christianity 
was received in Asia Minor, and perhaps in the West 
generally, without any detestation, and even with consider- 
able favour. The growth of the opposite feeling was due 

to various social causes, among which probably the strongest 


XV. Cattse and Extent of Persecution, 347 

were (i) loss incurred by tradesmen whose business was 
interfered with by the habits which Christianity inculcated ; 
(2) annoyance caused in pagan families by the conver- 
sion of individual members. In the latter case it is clear 
that the anger felt by the pagan members of any family 
would, as a rule, be proportionate to the degree of affection 
that had existed before the family was disunited. The 
stronger the love that had held together the family, the 
stronger the hatred that would be felt against those who 
had introduced discord into it. 

Spurred on by such causes, private individuals tried to 
revenge themselves on those whom they considered to have 
injured them, whether by riotous and illegal action (Acts 
xiv. 19, xvii. 5, xix. 23 ff.), by action before the magistrates 
of provincial cities, who were not empowered to inflict 
severe penalties (Acts xvi. 19), or by moving the Roman 
law (Acts xix. 38). 

Various methods of prosecution before ordinary tri- 
bunals might be, and frequently were, employed by in- 
dividuals who felt themselves aggrieved. Some of these 
have been already referred to (p. 250 f.). Riotous con- 
duct, disturbance of the public peace, sedition, and sac- 
rilege, were charges that readily suggested themselves 
(Acts xix. 37), and might be tried with good hopes of 
success ; but a. purely religious charge was derided by the 
Roman officials (Acts xviii. 15-17).* We have seen that 

* St. Paul's experience in Corinth of the favour of the Roman 
courts as a defence against the Jews seems to have produced a 
powerful effect on his thought and teaching. This event divides 
the two letters to the Thessalonians by a deep chasm from the group 
of Galatians, Corinthians, Romans. There is a remarkable change 
of feehng as we pass from one group to the other. 


48 T//e CJmrcJi in the Roman Empire. 

charges of breaking up the peace of family Hfe formed 
the subject of anxious consideration and advice both to 
I St. Paul and to St. Peter (see pp. 246, 281) ; and we cannot 
doubt that such charges had often been carried into court. 
The father or husband or master dealt in private with the 
individual members of his family ;* but he must go before 
the courts in order to punish the person who had tampered 
with their beliefs and habits. In such actions probably 
the accusation of unjustifiable interference with the sphere 
of duties and rights belonging to another, f though not 
recognised as a criminal category, would be useful to excite 
odium and bad feeling, a practice in which extreme licence 
was conceded to pleaders in Roman courts. 

The persecution of Nero made the situation of the 
Christians distinctly worse, without altering its general 
character. The Emperor's action in allowing certain 
charges, moral, rather than criminal, to be urged against 
Christians, constituted a precedent, and exercised a strong 
influence on all provincial governors in judging such cases; 
but still the same method remained in practice, and the 
governors in Asia Minor still stood as judges between the 
Christian and his accuser ; " for praise to them that do 
well" (i Peter ii. 15). Christians suffered by being con- 
victed as criminals, and not as Christians ; defence lay in 
a life above suspicion (i Peter iv. 25). 

* Tacitus, ^7z;2<?/s-, xiii., 32. Pomponiawasjudged by her husband 
'brisco i?istituto, A.D. 58. 

t The Latin term, alienuin specular t\ and the noun, alieni specu- 
lator, suggested the extraordinary Greek rendering dXXorpioeTrt'o-KOTrof, 
I Peter iv. 15, which is quite unintelligible, except as a rough 
attempt to translate a foreign term that had no recognised equiva- 
lent in Greek (see p. 293 n). 

XV. Cause and Extent of Persecution, 349 

It is not true that mere social annoyances could have 
had a serious character, until, through Nero's example, 
tlicy were abetted and completed by action on the part 
of the Roman administration ; and it is regrettable that 
several excellent authorities have countenanced this un- 
historical view.* It is true that James implies persecution 
of a more serious character, as taking place before the 
Neronian policy had come into force ; but James wrote to 
Jews, who were not governed solely by Roman law, but 
who, down to A.D. 70, administered justice to a certain 
extent among themselves, according to their own sacred 
law, even in Roman cities of the Eastern provinces. Of 
course the most serious penalties, and especially death, 
were beyond the independent Jewish jurisdiction ; but still 
much suffering could be legally inflicted by Jews on other 
Jews, unless the victims possessed the Roman citizenship, f 
Hence the situation of Jewish Christians before A.D. 64 was 
much more serious than that of Gentile Christians ; but 
after that year official Roman action could be invoked with 
confident expectation of success against both classes, and 
after A.D. 70 the self-governing privileges of the Jews were 
entirely withdrawn. 

* Weiss' commentary on i Peter {die katholischen Briefe, 
Leipzig, 1892), whatever be its merits in a textual or theological 
view, is a distinct retrogression from Holtzmann and other critics 
when regarded as a historical investigation. On Spitta, see p. 300. 

t The Jews could act against the Roman Paul only by rousing 
official Roman action on some pretext. Gallio probably did not allow 
the case to go far enough to find out whether Paul was Roman, but 
dismissed the case to the Jewish tribunals. In the case of Jesus, 
the Jews could not make the matter a serious one, except before the 
Roman tribunal. The Jews, even in Palestine, could not suffer to 
death (Heb. xii. 4), except before a Roman governor. 

350 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Experiences of the kind described, though annoying in 
themselves, could never have been a serious evil or danger 
to the Christians ; and the Apologists of the second century 
argue in favour of the restoration of this procedure {Justin, 
i., 3 ; Tatian, 4, etc.), claiming a fair statement of charges 
against each Christian, an open trial, and liberty of defence 
against the accusation. While this kind of persecution 
alone was available against them, the Christians had fair 
treatment and toleration from the Roman officials, and on 
the whole looked to them for protection. Paul himself 
suffered personally a good deal of hard treatment ; but he 
is an exceptional case. A poor Jewish stranger, almost 
a beggar, whose language in public had led to much 
disorder among the Jews, and who was exposed to the 
enmity of rich and influential Jews, must not be taken as 
a fair instance of what known citizens would suffer in their 
own land. 

It was not merely the populace who felt this dislike to 
the Christians ; the governors of provinces, the officials of 
every class, the Emperors themselves, shared it. Even 
such a humane spirit as Plinj^ was so shocked by the 
demeanour of the Christians on their trial that he men- 
tioned it to Trajan, as in itself a sufficient reason for 
condemnation. The Greeks were difficult enough to 
deal with. Cicero speaks of their perverse humour, with 
which all Romans who had dealings with them must 
reckon ; * and every proconsul of Asia could tell many 
a tale of the unreasonable ways of the Greeks in the 

* Perversitas, Fain III., i., 4. Every Turkish governor would 
give the same account now. Greeks under his power make his life 
a burden to him. 

X V, Cattse and Extent of Persecution. 3 5 1 

coast cities. But the Roman governors found the Christians 
much more difficult to manage than the Greeks. 

Popular feeling, therefore, was strongly on the side of 
persecution ; and there can be no doubt that the reason 
for the severity of Marcus Aurelius lay in the dislike which 
he shared with the educated and uneducated classes alike. 
Void of insight into social questions, and raised above 
enthusiasm by philosophy, Marcus honestly carried out 
against the Christians the principles in which he believed. 

It would be a mistake to look for the reason of the 
antipathy towards the Christians in their disobedience to 
any single law. The C hristians were so diametrically op- f 
posed to the general jendencies^of the Government and of | 
the ancient social system, they violated in such an unshrink- 
ing, unfeeling, uncompromising way the principles which 
society and philosophy set rnost store by, that to prosecute 
them under any one law, or to think of them as ordinary 
criminals guilty on one single count, was to minimise their 
offence in an apparently absurd degree. It was true that [ 
a Christian was guilty of treason against the Emperor, and 
as such deserved death ; but to put his crime on that 
footing was to class him with many noble and high-minded 
Romans, who had been condemned for the same offence. 
It was true that he practised a foreign and degrading - 
superstition ; and that he induced many Roman citizens 
to desert their patriotic loyalty to the religion of their 
country and their fathers, and to go astray after a fan- 
tastic and exaggerated devotion ; but the worshippers of 
Isis and of Sabazios did something of the same kind, and 
the fashion was to treat this offence with contemptuous 
toleration. It was true that Christians cut themselves 
off from all Greek culture, from everything that was 

352 TJie Church in the Roman Empire, 

good and noble ; that they broke up family ties, and set 
brother against brother ; that their words, thoughts, and acts 
were alike void of good result for society ; that they stood 
aloof from the pleasures, the religion, and the duties of 
educated or loyal citizens ; held no official position ; com- 
forted none who were in sorrow ; healed no dissensions ; 
gave no good counsel ; made poverty and beggary into 
virtues ; practised robbery under the guise of equality, 
and shameless vice under the cloak of rigid virtue ; made 
evil into good, and reckoned ugliness as beauty ; laid 
claim to be the true philosophers ; and spoke villainous 
Greek. But, as the very man who paints this picture im- 
plies, so did the Cynics ; * yet the Cynics were merely 
satirised and ridiculed. 

The combination of so many and various faults, com- 
bined with the power given them by their close union, 
and the fear which mingled with and embittered the 
general hatred, rendered them pre-eminently the object of 
popular fury ; it seemed absurd to apply to such people 
any ordinary judicial process. Hence the Flavian pro- 
scription, which treated them like brigands, met with 
general approval. One cry alone was adequate to the 
case — Christiaiios ad leones. If they gave only annoyance 
to the world during their life, let them at least afford 
society some compensation by amusing it at their death. 

Some of the traits in the picture drawn by Aristides 

* Aristides, virkp roiv rerra/jcoj^, vol. ii,, p. 400 f. (Dind.) So un- 
suitable do some of the traits appear to Lightfoot, that he refuses 
to accept it as a picture of the Christians, and declares that the 
Cynics were the model for Aristides to paint from {/gnat, i., p. 533). 
But I cannot separate the picture wholly from the Christians, nor 
believe that the Cynics alone could have aroused the deep-seated 
hatred which is here expressed. They were not sufficiently power- 

XV, Cause and Extent of Persecution. 353 

partake (to put it mildly) of exaggeration and prejudice ; 
but if we wish to understand this question we must 
approach the subject from the point of view of the Empire, 
and of the educated classes of pagan society, and try to 
realise their views. We must, for the moment, assume the 
attitude of those who found the fabric of society assailed 
by the Christians with a bitter undistinguishing hostility 
and contempt, which the student of classical antiquity 
must feel to have been not wholly deserved. 

But action that consists only in occasionally yielding 
to pressure from popular passions does not constitute 
a policy. We have seen that a permanent proscription of 
the Name of Christian was implied in Pliny's first action ; 
and it is impossible to suppose that the permanent policy 
of such a government as the Roman was determined by 
mere feelings of personal and popular dislike. We cannot 
suppose that these passions weighed with Trajan, when he 
reaffirmed the general principle of proscription. Hadrian 
and Pius expressly forbade that popular clamour should 
weigh against a Christian ; but they both left the general 
principle in force. The direct and strong antagonism 

ful to cause fear ; and only an enemy which is also feared can rouse 
such intense hatred. The Cynics and the Christians were united in 
the mind of Aristides and his compeers as two members of one 
class, differing in some respects, but, on the whole, of the same type, 
and this picture gives the features common to the class. The Greek 
philosophers objected to the cosmopolitan spirit and superiority to 
the narrow Greek state, which characterised both Cynics and Chris- 
tians. Neumann, pp. 35-6, has caught excellently the spirit of this 
passage, following a fragment of Bernays, Gesammelte Abhandl., ii., 
p. 362, which seems to imply a change from the view expressed in 
Lucian und die Kyniker. In that work Bernays considered the 
description to be intended for the Cynics alone. 


354 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

against the State which rules in Apocalypse and Ignatius 
cannot be thus explained. We must look deeper for the 
real ground of the Imperial action, which, as we have seen, 
was probably determined about 75-80 A.D. 

2. Real Causes of State Persecution. 

The success of the Imperial Government in the provinces 
\ rested greatly on its power of accommodating itself to the 
ways and manners and religion of the subjects ; it accepted 
and found a place in its system for all gods and all cults. 
Religious intolerance was opposed to. the fundamental 
principles of the Imperial rule, and few traces of it can be 
discerned. It proscribed the Christians, and it proscribed 
the Druids. In these two cases there must have seemed 
to the Imperial Government to be some characteristic which 
required exceptional treatment. In both cases there was 
present the same dangerous principle : both maintained an 
extra-Imperial unity, and were proscribed on political,* 
not on religious, grounds. 

On the other hand, the Jews must have appeared to 
the Government to resemble the Christians veiy closely. 
Almost every trait in the picture drawn by Aristides 
applies to them, and they also were the object of general 
hatred. But so far from yielding to the popular feeling 
in this case, the Imperial policy protected the Jews on 
many occasions from the popular dislike. 

* Mommsen says {Provinces, i., p. 105) "the institution of the 
Gallic annual festival in the purely Roman capital . . . was evi- 
dently a countermove of the Government against the old religion of 
the country, with its annual council of priests at Chartres, the centre 
of the Gallic land." See also Duruy in Reviie ArcheologiquCy April 
t88o, p. 247 (347). 

Xy. Cause and Extent of Persecntion, 355 

If the Jews appeared to the Empire to resemble the 
Christians so much, and yet were treated so differently, the 
reason for the difference in treatment must have lain in 
those points in which the Christians differed from the 
Jews in the estimate of the Imperial Government.* In so 
far the Jews were merely a body professing a different 
religion ; the Emperors allowed them the completest 
toleration. But so long as the Jews maintained an articu- 
lated organisation, centred in the Temple at Jerusalem, 
they maintained a unity distinct from that of the Empire ; 
and this fact was brought home to the Emperors by the 
great rebellion of 65-70. The Flavian policy (see p. 254) ' 
made a distinction between the Jew ish religion and the 
Jewish organised unity ; the former was protected, but the j 
latter was proscribed. Titus conceived that the destruction j 
of the temple would destroy the unity centred in it ; and 
he substituted the temple of Jupiter tor the temple at 
Jerusalem, collecting for the former the tax hitherto con- 
tributed by the Jews for the latter. 

With the Jews it was found possible to separate their 
religion from their organisation. The destruction of the 
temple, indeed, had to be completed under Hadrian by the 
destruction of Jerusalem, and the foundation of a new 
Roman city there. But, to a great extent after 70, and 
completely after 134, the Jews accepted the situation as- 
signed them by the State — religious toleration on con- 
dition of acquiescence in the unity of the Empire. 

* Tacitus, indeed, says {Uist., v,, 5) that the Jewish rites antz- 
quitate defendunttir ; but he is not here professing to explain 
formally why the Empire favoured the Jews. The distinction in this 
point of antiquity between Judaism and Christianity had more 
weight in philosophy than in government. 

356 The Chui'ch in the Roman Empire. 

Titus at first entertained the belief fhat the Christians 
also had their centre in the temple, and that their unity 
would perish with it (p. 254), But soon the Flavian 
Government recognised that their united organisation was 
no whit weakened by the destruction of the temple. The 
Christians still continued, no less than before, to maintain 
a unity independent of, and contrary to, the Imperial unity, 
and to consolidate steadily a wide-reaching organ isation. 
Such an organisation was contrary to the fundamental 
principle of Roman government. Rome had throughout 
its career made it a fixed principle to rule by dividing ; 
all subjects must look to Rome alone ; none might look 
towards their neighbours, or enter into any agreem.ent or 
connection with them. But the Christians looked to a 
non-Roman unity ; they decided on common action inde- 
pendent of Rome ; they looked on themselves as Christians 
first, and Roman subjects afterwards ; and, when Rome 
refused to accept this secondary allegiance, they ceased to 
feel themselves Roman subjects at all. When this was the 
case, it seems idle to look about for reasons why Rome 
should proscribe the Christians. If it was true to itself, it 
must compel obedience ; and to do so meant death to all 
firm Christians. In the past the success of the Roman 
Government had been greatly due to the rigour with which 
it suppressed all organisations ; and the Church was a 
living embodiment of the tendency which hitherto Rome 
had succeeded in crushing. Either Rome must now 
compel obedience, or it must acknowledge that the Chris- 
tian unity was stronger than the Empire. 

This disobedience to the principles of Roman admini- 
stration is only one form of that spirit of insubordination 
and obstinacy, which is so often attributed to the Christians 

XV. Cause and Extent of Persecution. 357 

by the ancient writers, and which seemed to Pliny to justify 
their condemnation. In his note on the passage (PHny, ad 
Traj., 96), Mr. Hardy rightly remarks that " the feature of 
Christianity which PHny here points out as a sufficient 
reason * for punishing them, was exactly the point which, 
as Christianity grew, made it seem politically dangerous to 
the authority of the Empire, and which, more than religious 
intolerance, was at the root of later persecutions." We 
ask why it should be left for Pliny to make the discovery 
that the Christian principles were dangerous. He was not 
the first governor of a province in which Christians were 
numerous. He was not the character to display special 
insight into the probable political outcome of new prin- 
ciples, or to be specially jealous for the authority of the 
Empire. He was not a practised administrator. He had 
never before held a province. He had been a skilful finan- 
cier and good lawyer, whose entire of^cial life had been 
spent in Rome with the single exception of the necessary 
months of military service as a tribune, and even this 
term he had spent in managing the accounts of the legion. 
He had been selected for this government because the 
finances of the cities were in a bad state, and a trustworthy 
and hardworking officer and good financier was needed to 
administer the province. It is not too much to say that, 
if Pliny perceived forthwith the disobedience that was in- 
herent in the new religion, every governor of any Asiatic 
province, every Emperor of Rome, and every prefect of 
the city, must have made the same discovery for himself 
long before 1 1 2. 

* I have made one slight, but significant, change, substituting 
" a sufficient reason " for "his personal reason." Compare note on 
p. 214 ; also exczcrszis, p. 374. 

35^ The Church in the Roman Empire. 

The cause here suggested, obvious as it appears, has 
been ridiculed as impossible by Aube, who thinks it incon- 
ceivable that Nero should already have begun to suspect 
that the growth of the organised Christian religion might 
prove dangerous to the Empire. It is difficult to reply to 
such an argument. For my own part, I can see nothing 
improbable even in this supposition, and still less in the 
theory that the Flavian Emperors considered Christianity 
to involve a dangerous principle. I should only be sur- 
prised if the watchful Roman administration had failed to 
recognise at a very early moment that the principles of the 
new sect were opposed to its policy. Trajan refused to 
permit an organisation of 150 firemen in Nicomedeia, or to 
allow a few poor people to improve their fare by dining 
in company, on the express ground that such organisations 
involved political danger. The Christians so managed their 
organisation as to elude the law prohibiting sodalitates ; * 
but they could not elude the notice of the Emperors. 

How can we understand the marvellous power which the 
Empire showed of Romanising the provinces, except on 
the supposition that it showed great practical ability in 
dealing with the various views and principles of different 
peoples ? and how is such practical ability to be explained, 
except on the supposition that the Imperial Govern- 
ment was keenly alive to the character and probable 
effect of any such system ? The Emperors were aiming at 
a great end ; they pursued it with all the experience and 
wisdom of Roman law and Roman organisation ; and they 
punished rigorously those who impeded their action. 

* The discontinuance of Ag^ap^ii (see p. 215) for this reason in 
Bith3'nia may safely be taken as a type of the action of other 
Christians^in this respect. 

XV. Cause and Extent of Persecution. 359 

The principle of government just described is connected 
with, but still must be distinguished from, the restrictions 
imposed on the formation of collegia and sodalitates. The 
same jealousy on the part of the Government and the 
same distrust of the loyalty of the people underlies both. 
While Rome was a republic, all citizens had the right of 
forming associations at will ; but as soon as the Empire 
began, it distrusted such associations, and Julius restricted 
' them within the narrowest limits ;* for the Roman Govern- 
ment now considered the Roman people as a danger 
to be guarded against. The old rule of prohibiting all 
attempts at union among the subject populations, appears 
under the Empire mainly under the form of prohibiting 
collegia and sodalitates ; but it was really of much wider 
scope, and this prohibition was only one special applica- 
tion of a general principle. 

This jealous principle of Roman administration was fatal 
to all vigorous life and political education among the 
subject peoples. It was an inheritance from the old 
narrow Roman system, which regarded the subject peoples 
merely as conducive to the benefit of Rome. The true 
interest of the Empire lay in abandoning this narrow and 
jealous spirit, and training the provincials to higher con- 
ceptions of political duty than mere obedience to the laws 
and the magistrates. Only in this way could it carry out 

* Cenefit clubs among poor people, associations for mutual assist- 
ance, alone were permitted ; and these were allowed to meet only 
once a month for any purpose beyond religious ritual, which was of 
course unimpeded. The commonest kind of these clubs were Burial 
Societies ; but it would be a mistake to suppose that these were the 
only examples of their class. The use of the term collegia funeraticia 
(a purely modern name) has sometimes led to the false idea that 
these alone were permitted. They were collegia tetiuioru^n. 

360 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

its mission of creating a great unified state, characterised 
by universal citizenship and patriotism (see p. 192/2.). 
Here, as in many other cases, the Church carried out the 
ideas and forms towards which the Empire was tending? 
but which it could not realise without the aid of Chris- 

Political and religious facts were in ancient time far more 
closely connected than they are now. It was under the< 
protection of religion that law, social rules, and politics,! 
gradually developed. Before they had strength to exist 
apart, they maintained themselves as religious principles, 
enforced by religious sanctions and terrors. Thus the right 
of free general intercourse and free union among all sub- 
jects of the Empire, had for a long time no existence 
except as a religious fact. 

The strength of the Imperial Government lay in its 
recognising, more fully than any administration before or 
since has done, the duty of maintaining a tolerable stan- 
dard of comfort among the poorer classes of citizens. But 
while it showed great zeal as regards their physical comfort, 
it was less attentive to the other duty of educating them. 
The education imparted on a definite plan by the State 
did not go beyond a regular series of amusements, some of 
a rather brutalising tendency. Christianity came in to the 
help of the Imperial Government, urging the duty of edu- 
cating, as well as feeding and amusing, the mass of the 
population. The theory of universal education for the 
people has never been more boldly and thoroughly stated 
than by Tatian (see p. 345). The weak side of the Empire 
— the cause of the ruin of the first Empire — was the moral 
deterioration of the Ipwer classes : Christianity, if adopted 
in time, might have prevented this result. 

' XV. CaiLse and Extent of Persecution. 361 
3. Organisation of the Church. 

The administrative forms in which the Church gradually 
came to be organised were determined by the state of 
society and the spirit of the age. In the conflict with the I 
civil Government these forms were, in a sense, forced on it ;| 
but it would be an error to suppose that they were forced 
on it in mere self-defence against a powerful enemy. They 
were accepted actively, not passively. The Church gradually 
became conscious of the real character of the task which it J 
had undertaken. It came gradually to realise that it w^as j 
a world-wide institution, and must organise a world-wide 
system of administration. It grew as a vigorous and 
healthy organism, which worked out its own purposes, and 
maintained itself against the disintegrating influence of 
surrounding forces ; but the line of its growth was deter- 
mined by its environment.* 

The analogy between the Church and the State organisa- 
tions is close and real. But it would be a mistake to ! 
attribute it to conscious imitation, or even to seek in , 
Roman institutions the origin of Church institutions that | 
resemble them. The Christians would have indignantly 
rejected all idea of such imitation. 

Hermas states {Vis., ii., 4, i) the view held by the early 

* As I cannot hope to hit the passionless scientific truth in a 
subject so difficult as the present, or to avoid conflicting with 
widely felt emotions, where such deep and such opposite feelings are 
entertained, I shall simply indicate, in as unemotional and external 
way as I can, the view that seems best to explain the attitude of the 
State to the Christians. The Church is here treated not as a reli- 
gious body, but as a practical organisation for social duties and 
needs, and as brought in contact with the State. 

362 TJie Church in the Roman Empire. 

Church as to its own origin. The Church appears as an 
old woman, " because she was created first of all, and for 
her sake was the world made." The Church was to 
Hermas a well-articulated organism, and not a collection 
of individual Christians with no bond of union beyond 
certain common rites and beliefs ; yet its organisation was 
not constructed by the early Christians, but was a pre- 
existing, Divinely created idea, independent of the existence 
of actual Christians to embody it in the w^orld. 

But all the more surely and truly were the Christians 
under the influence of Roman administrative forms and 
ideas, that they were entirely unconscious of the fact. 
The secret of the extraordinary power exerted by the 
Roman Government in the provinces lay in the subtle way 
in which the skilful administrative devices, shown by it for 
the first time to the provinces, filled and dominated the 
minds of the provincials. After the Roman system was 
known, its influence took possession of the public mind, 
and is apparent both in every new foundation for admini- 
strative purposes, and even in the gradual modification of 
the previously existing organisations. Those institutions 
of the Church which belonged to its Jewish origin steadily 
became more and more Roman in character. Roman 
ideas were in the air, and, had the Church not been in- , 
fluenced by them, it would have been neither vigorous nor | 
progressive. After all, Hermas' view and the one here 
stated differ little from each other. We are trying to 
express the same fact ; but in these pages the Divine is 
treated as a development, whereas to Hermas it was 
immutable and eternal, like a Platonic idea. 

Like the Empire, the Church fully recognised the duty 
of the community to see that all its members were fed ; 

XV. Cause and Extent of Persecution. 363 

and this was one of the earliest forms in which the ques- 
tion of practical organisation began to press on it 
(Acts vi.). Further organisation was required when many 
communities existed in different lands, all considering 
themselves as a brotherhood. Such separation involved, 
in the course of natural growth, the development of differ- 
ences of custom and opinion in details ; and in life details 
are often of more apparent value than principles. Ques- 
tions arise in the relation of community with community. 
If these are not settled with judgment and skill permanent 
differences spring up. In the actual development of a 
Church scattered wide over the world, the officials whose 
duty it was to guide the communications between the com- 
munities necessarily played a decisive part in framing the 
organisation through which the brotherhood developed 
into the Church. As it was completed in its main elements 
by A.D. 170, the organisation of the Church may be 
described thus : — 

1. Each individual community was ruled by a gradation 
of officials, at whose head was the bishop ; and the bishop 
represented the community. 

2. All communities were parts of a unity, which was 
co-extensive with the [Roman ?] world. A name for this 
unity, the Universal or Catholic Church, is first found in 
Ignatius, and the idea was familiar to a pagan writer like 
Celsus (perhaps 16 1-9 A.D.). 

3. Councils determined and expressed the common 
views of a number of communities. 

4. Any law of the Empire which conflicted with the 
principles of the Church must give way. 

5. All laws of the Empire which were not in conflict 
with the religion of the Church were to be obeyed. 


364 T^he Chiuxh in the Roinan Euipire. 

In this completed organisation the bishops were esta- 
blished as the ruling heads of the several parts, divided in 
space but not in idea, which constituted the Church in the 
Roman world. The history of this organisation is, to a 
great extent, the history of the episcopal power. The 
bishops soon became the directors of the Church as a 
party struggling against the Government. I should gladly 
have avoided this peculiarly difficult part of the subject, 
but it is not possible to discuss the relations of Church and 
State without showing the nature of these typical officers 
in the proscribed organisation. The view which I take is, 
that the central idea in the development of the episcopal 
office lay in the duty of each community to maintain com- 
munication with other communities. The officials who 
performed this duty became the guardians of unity. 
They acquired importance first in the universal Church ; 
and thereafter, partly in virtue of this extra-congregational 
position, partly through other causes, they became the heads 
of the individual communities. 

Such a vast organisation of a perfectly new kind, with 
no analogy in previously existing institutions, was naturally 
slow in development. We regard the ideas underlying 
it as originating with Paul. The first step was taken when 
he crossed Taurus ; the next more conscious step was 
the result of the trial in Corinth, after which his thought 
developed from the stage of TJiessalouians to that of Gala- 
tians, Corinthians, and Romans. The critical stage was 
passed when the destruction of Jerusalem annihilated all 
possibility of a localised centre for Christianity, and made 
it clear that the centralisation of the Church could reside 
only in an idea — viz., a process of intercommunication, 
union, and brotherhood (p. 288). 

XV. Caicse and Extent of Persectttion. 365 

It would" be hardly possible to exaggerate the share 
which frequent intercourse from a very early stage between 
the separate congregations had in moulding the develop- 
ment of the Church. Most of the documents in the New 
Testament are products and monuments of this intercourse ; 
all attest in numberless details the vivid interest which the 
scattered communities took in one another. From the first 
the Christian idea was to annihilat e the separation due to 
space, and hold the most distant brother as near as the 
nearest. Clear consciousness of the importance of this idea 
first appears in the Pastoral Epistles,* and is still stronger 
in writings of A.D. 80-100, as i Peter and Clement. In 
these works of the first century the idea is expressed in a 
simpler form than in writings of the second century, where 
it has a stereotyped and conventionalised character, with a 
developed and regulated appearance. 

The close relations between different congregations is 
brought into strong relief by the circumstances disclosed 
in the letters of Ignatius : the welcome extended every- 
where to him ; the loving messages sent when he was 
writing to other churches {Rom. ix.) ; the deputations sent 
from churches off his road to meet him and convoy him 
{Rom. ix., etc.) ; the rapidity with which news of his pro- 

* Its prominence in them is one of the many characteristics which 
distinguish them from the older Epistles, and which would make us 
gladly date these Epistles ten or twelve years after A.D. 67 (later they 
cannot be, on account of the undeveloped type of persecution which 
appears in them). But it does not appear worth while to sacrifice 
the tradition, and the claim they make to be the work of Paul, for 
the sake of a few years. We must accept the difficulty involved in 
their developed character. There is no person who is so likely to 
have originated these ideas as Paul, in the intense activity of his 
later years, a.d. 64-67. 

366 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

gress was sent round, so that deputations from Ephesus, 
Magnesia, and Tralles were ready to visit him in Smyrna ; 
the news from Antioch which reached him in Troas, but 
which was unknown to him in Smyrna ; the directions 
which he gave to call a council of the church in Smyrna, 
and send a messenger * to congratulate the church in 
Antioch ; the knowledge that his fate is known to and is 
engaging the efforts of the church in Rome. Such details 
in the letters and in other authorities presuppose regular 
intercommunication and union of the closest kind along the 
great routes across the Empire. Lucian was familiar with 
this intercourse among the Christians ; and his language 
about it implies that it seemed to him the crowning proof 
of the detestable and perverted energy of the sect.f Light- 
foot has correctly emphasised this class of facts, but he 
does not sufficiently bring out they were the regular. and 
characteristic practice of the Christians ; hence he quotes 
the passages of Lucian as proof that Lucian was acquainted 
with the story of Ignatius. But Lucian might have gained 
his knowledge from many other similar incidents as well as 
from the story of Ignatius ; and the only safe inference 
from his words is, that the picture of life given in the 
letters of Ignatius is true. 

This close connection could not be maintained by mere 
unregulated voluntary efforts ; organised action alone was 
able to keep it up. The early system of government by the 
presiding Council of Elders was slowly developed to cope 
with the pressing need ; and the episcopal organisation was 
thus gradually elaborated. 

•••- — ' 

* Smyrn., 11 ; Fhilad., 10; Polyc.^ 7. He is called deonpea-^evTqsj 

t De Morte Peregrini, 12 and 41. 

XV. Cause and Extent of Pe7'secution. 367 

The word episkopos means overseer. Originally, when 4^''^ 
the deliberative council of elders resolved to perform some 
action, they would naturally direct one of their number to 
superintend it. This presbyter was an episkopos for the 
occasion. Any presbyter might be also an episkopos^ and 
the terms were therefore applied to the same persons, and 
yet conveyed essentially different meanings. The episkopos 
appointed to perform any duty was necessarily single, for 
the modern idea of a committee was unknown ; * any 
presbyter might become an episkopos for an occasion, yet 
the latter term conveyed an idea of singleness and of 
executive authority which was wanting to the former. 
On the other hand, the idea of an order of episkopoi 
at this stage, like the order of presbyters, is self-contradic- 
tory. The episkopos was necessarily single, and yet there 
might be many episkopoi for distinct duties. Such appears 
to be the natural interpretation of the term, as it was used 
in ancient life. 

It was natural that proved aptness and power in an 
individual presbyter should lead to his having executive 
duties frequently assigned to him. The Imperial idea 
was in the air ; and the tried episkopos tended to become 
permanent, and to concentrate executive duties in his 
hands. The process was gradual, and no violent change 
took place. The authority of the episkopos was long a 
delegated authority, and his influence dependent mainly on 
personal qualities. In such a gradual process it is natural 

* Bodies of 3, 5, 10, or more officers were frequent in Rome; 
but they were not committees. Each individual possessed the 
full powers of the whole body. The act of one was authoritative as 
the act of all ; each could thwart the power of his colleagues ; no 
idea of acting by vote of the majority existed. 


2,6S TJie Ckitrch in the Roman Empire. 

that the position of episkopoi should vary much, that the 
position of the same individual should be susceptible of 
being understood and described differently by different 
observers, and that the episkopos became permanent in fact 
before the principle of permanence was admitted. 

The hospitality which is assigned as a duty to the 
episkopos in i Tim. iii. i ff., Titus i. 5 ff., was closely connected 
with the maintenance of external relations (see p. 288) ; and 
the composition of the letters sent by one community to 
another was also assigned to him. Hence a copy of the 
message given to Hermas was ordered to be sent to Clement, 
who should send it to foreign cities, for to him had been 
entrusted the duty (viz., of com.municating with other com- 
munities) ;* while Hermas, with the presbyters who preside 
over the Church (among whom Clement is, as we believe, 
included), was to read it to the Romans. This duty was 
likely to be permanently assigned to the same individual, 
for uniformity of tone could not otherwise be secured. 

The scanty and unsatisfactory evidence of the first cen- 
tury points to the practical permanence of the episkopos as 
already usual, but is inconsistent with the idea that the 
episkopos was considered as separate in principle from his 
co-presbyters (as he continued for centuries to term 
them). He was only a presbyter on whom certain duties 
had been imposed. There was in practice one permanent 
episkopos in a community, when i Peter ii. 25 was written, 
and when the messages were sent to the angeloi of the 
seven Asian Churches ; but the episkopos was very far re- 

* Vis., ii., 4, 3, I cannot doubt that, to a Roman Christian of the 
period, Clement must mean the famous Clement. Either Hermas 
wrote before Clement's death, or he intended that his book should 
appear to be of that period. 

XV. Cause and Extent of Persecution. 369 

moved from the monarchical bishop of A.D. 170, and we find 
not a trace to suggest that he exercised any authority ex 
officio within the community. He represented it in certain 
cases ; he wrote in its name ; but the words purported to 
be spoken by the community. Letters addressed to it were 
sent to him ; but the contents referred solely to the com- 
munity, and made no allusion to the episkopos. His 
position was ostensibly a humble one within the com- 
munity ; and yet its real influence and its future possibili- 
ties must have been obvious to him that had eyes to see 
beneath the superficial aspect.* The importance of the 
episkopos would be estimated by a writer according to the 
degree in which his attention was occupied with the unity 
of the Church, t In Hermas the Church is thought of rather 
as distinguished from the wicked. He divides the world, one 
might almost say, into Christian and non-Christian, and 
heretics are to him mistaken teachers, as they are to Paul 
in Philip, i. 15-18. The organisation and practical mainte- 

* Such is the nature of the office as it appears in Apoc. i. 16, 20. 
Spitta considers that the interpretation of the stars as bishops 
belongs to the revision, 90-112, not to the original Christian docu- 
ment, 60 A.D. His arguments, p. t^^] f., are founded on a misap- 
prehension of the delicate contrasts in the position of the episkopoi. 
Again, when Ignatius writes to Polycarp a private letter, he, in the 
middle of it, begins to address the whole community, being accus- 
tomed to regard Polycarp as its representative. Ignatius does not 
write as bishop, but as an individual, and in his own name : the 
church in Antioch has now no bishop. 

t From Clement alone the permanence of his duties could not 
be inferred ; but it is the natural inference from a comparison of 
Clement and Hermas' language about him. But it would be as 
wrong to draw from Clement, as it would be to draw from Polycarp's 
letter to the Philippians with its similar language (see Lightfoot, 
Ignat, i., p. 594), any inference against the permanent concentration 
of episcopal duties in the hands of an individual. 


370 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

nance of unity is not a thought that weighs much with him ; 
and he merely speaks in a general way of the heads of the 
community, ol irporiyovfjievoL tt)? eKKXijaia^. 

The language of Ignatius is more developed ; though 
there is, as a rule, some tendency to read him by the light 
of later facts. He is not a historian, describing facts ; he 
is a preacher, giving advice as to what ought to be. He 
lays most stress on the points which he conceived to be 
lacking. He speaks with the forethought of a legislator, 
and the monition of a prophet, and he has caught with 
marvellous prescience the line of development which the 
Church must follow. And surely, if ever man was likely 
to forget self entirely, and to be filled with wider thought, 
it was Ignatius, when life for him was over, and with full 
consciousness he was about to sacrifice it for the Church. 
He was deeply touched by the deputations that visited 
him ; he realised the power that a united Church might 
exercise ; and he saw that still closer organisation, through 
fuller recognition of the bishops' power, was needed. The 
episcopal authority was to him the centre of order and 
the guarantee of unity in the Church.* Except through 
the episkopoi^ no common policy could be carried out. He 
insists, then, that the bishop should guide the community ; 
but he says that this principle is a special revelation,! and 

* Lightfoot has rightly urged that Ignatius did not think (like 
Irenaeus) that the bishops' duty was to preserve pure and transmit 
faithfully the doctrine of the Church, Ignat.^ i., p. 382, ed I., 396, 
ed. II. ** Unity" prompts his words. 

\ Philad.y 7: "I learnt it not from flesh of man; it was the 
preaching of the Spirit, who spake on this wise : Do nothing without 
the bishop . . . cherish union," etc. It is clear that disunion and 
disobedience prevailed in Philadelphia. 

XV. Cause and Extent of Persecution. 371 

his reiteration seems a proof that urgency was necessary.* . 
I can find in Ignatius no proof that the bishops were re- ! 
garded as ex officio supreme even in Asia, where he was ^ 
evidently much impressed by the good organisation of the 
Churches, His words are quite consistent with the view 
that the respect actually paid in each community to the 
bishop depended on his individual character, f \ 

The really striking development implied by Ignatius 
is, that a much clearer distinction between bishop and 
presbyter had now become generally recognised. This 
distinction was ready to become a difference of rank and 
order ; and he first recognised that this was so. Others 
looked at the bishops under prepossessions derived from 
the past : he estimated them in view of what they might 
become in the future. 

For our purpose, the important point is the aspect 
which the institution would wear in the estimation of the 
Emperors. It w as illegal ; it was a device for doing more 
efficiently what the State forbade to be done at all. How 
far its character was known to the Government, we can- 
not tell ; but that the Emperors studied this political 
phenomenon — the Christian organisation — I cannot, in 
the nature of the Roman administration, doubt. That 
they must condemn an organisation such as we have 
described, judging it by the fundamental principle of 
Roman government, is certain. That the policy of the 

* Cp. Dr. Sanday's true remark, Expositor, December, 1888, p. 326. 

t We notice that the Ephesians are urged to meet together, and 
to obey bishop and presbyters (20) ; but they had not been in the 
habit of meeting often enough (13). Advice impHes fault. Tralles 
is praised for obeying its bishop, and advised also to obey the 

%^2 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Flavian Emperors is inexplicable in any other way seems 
equally certain. An organisation, strong, even if only rudi- 
mentary, is required to explain the Imperial history ; and 
such an organisation is attested by the Christian docu- 
ments. Trajan found himself unable to resist the evidence 
that this organisation was dangerous and illegal ; yet his 
instinctive perception of wider issues prevented him from 
logically carrying out the principle. All sides of the evi- 
dence work in with one another, and all are derived from 
the simplest and fullest interpretation of the documents 
as they lie before us. Christianity was proscribed, not as 
a religion, but as interfering with that organisation of 
society which the Empire inculcated and protected. 

The question whether the Christian sect was treasonable 
was not first raised under the Flavian Emperors^ It had 
been agitated from an early period, and was naturally 
revived on every occasion when the character of the sect 
formed a subject of consideration to the Government. 

The earliest charge against Christians was that of setting 
up a king of their own in opposition to the Emperor. 
Jesus was condemned on this ground ; and it reappears 
in Acts xvii. 7. Eusebius mentions that a similar charge 
against the grandchildren of Judas, the Lord's brother, 
was investigated by Domitian, and dismissed.* 

Again, according to the old Roman view, it was justifiable, 
and even required, that the magistrates should proceed 
actively against Romans who had deserted the national 

* Euseb., H. E., iii., 20, gives it on the authority of Hegesippus, 
which carries it back to the second century. This is a sign that 
the Christian sect was studied by the Imperial Government. It 
was found to involve no serious danger, though other evidence 
proved that it embodied a dangerous principle. 

XV. Catise artd Extent of Persecution. 373 


religion,* and also against those who had been concerned 
in converting them. But, in fact, it would appear that this 
was not a frequent ground on which to found proceedings 
against the Christians. The feeling of pride in Roman 
citizenship and the exclusiveness against non-Roman rites, 
became much weaker as the citizenship was widened. 
Moreover, religious feeling in the Empire was very weak 
during the first century. The attempted revival of 
the national religion under Augustus was not lasting. 
Tiberius preserved the tradition of Augustus' policy ; but 
the mad sacrilege of Caligula must have weakened it 
fatally. Under Domitian, however, the revival of the 
national worship w^as a marked feature of the Imperial 

While the sect was condemned, it did not appear 
sufficiently important to require any special measures to 
put it down. The Government was content to lay down 
the principle that Christians should be dealt with by all 
governors under the general instructions (see p. 208). But 
the Roman administration maintained a very small staff 
of officials, and the public safety was very insufficiently 
attended to (see p. 24). Brigandage w^as rife, and brigands 
were followed in a very spiritless and variable way. Chris- 
tians, who were classed along with brigands, profited by 
the remissness of the Government. In practice the execu- 
tion of the general principle would greatly depend on 
popular co-operation ; and though popular feeling was 
strongly against the Christians, popular action was of a 

* Mommsen quotes as examples the expulsion of Jews from Rome 
by Hispallus, ^r(S?/^r, B.C. 139, by Tiberius, and by Claudius, the 
action against the Bacchanalia, the expulsion of the worship of Isis 
beyond the walls of Rome, etc. See Histor. Zft.^ xxviii., 402 ff. 

374 ^^^^' Church in the Roman Empire. 

very uncertain character (see p. 325). The proscription 
exercised a strong influence on the Church, causing 
it to unite still more closely through mutual sympathy 
and the tendency among the persecuted to help one 
another ; but it was unable to diminish seriously the 
numbers of the Christians. It merely made the Church 
stronger, more self-reliant, and more spirited (pp. 296, 314). 

Note. — Many Christian confessors went to extremes in showing 
their contempt and hatred for their judges; and the Acta fully 
explain the indignation which their conduct roused in Pliny, con- 
scious as he was of his own lofty motives, and of the wisdom of the 
Imperial policy. Their answers to plain questions were evasive and 
indirect ; they lectured Roman dignitaries as if the latter were the 
criminals and they themselves the judges ; and they even used 
violent reproaches and coarse insulting gestures. A Roman court 
presented a terrible aspect, for torture in court was a regular part 
of procedure, and the actual surroundings were a grim commentary 
on Pliny's threats {su;pplicia niinatus : Le Blant, Actes, p. 118). 
Christians who were not terrified into recantation must have been 
usually thrown into extreme excitement. A master of human feeling 
has described the effect produced on a singularly cool, intrepid, 
self-restrained Scot — Henry Morton — by his unjust trial before 
Claverhouse. But the racial character of these Christians was not 
cool and self-restrained, but enthusiastic and able to see only one 
side of a case. Exceptions occur: Polycarp's gentle dignity and 
undisturbed calm are contrasted by the narrator with the nervous 
and hysterical conduct of others, and seem to him to be on the 
same lofty plane of feeling as the action of Jesus. Southern races 
are prone to licence of speech and gesture, by which they relieve 
the emotions which among us are often relieved by profane or inane 
expletives (a waggoner will attribute to the female relatives of his 
waggon, when it bumps over a stone, conduct such as Catullus 
attributes to the female connections of his enemy Mamurra). M. 
Le Blant, in some excellent remarks on the subject. I.e. 89 f., quotes 
the rude and violent language of Jerome and Gregory Naz. against 
Rufinus, Vigilantius, and Julian. Drilling of Christians in the single 
answer to all questions of a judire is mentioned (^Le Blant, p. 2qo). 





I. — The Acta in their Extant Form. 

HE Acta Pauli et Theklce is the only extant literary 
work which throws light on the character of popular 
Christianity in Asia Minor during the period that we have 
been studying. Thekla became the type of the female 
Christian teacher, pre'acher, and baptiser, and her story was 
quoted as early as the second century as a justification 
of the right of women to teach and to baptise ; and 
Tertullian seeks to invalidate its authority* by pointing 
out that the presbyter who confessed having constructed 
the work from love of Paul, was deposed from his office. 
So late as the ninth century, Nicetas of Paphlagonia 
mentions that Thekla baptised in Isauria, but that this 
was a special privilege reserved to her alone among women. 
Respect for and worship of Thekla was then rather op- 
posed to the practice of the Catholic Church in respect of 
women ; but it was far too deep-seated in the popular mind 
to be disturbed. But the objectionable features of the tale 
could be explained away (as they were by Nicetas); and 
attention was directed more to features of the tale which 

* Tertullian, de Ba^t., 17 (about 195 A.D.). It is generally held 
that Tertullian refers to the work which has been preserved to us ; 
but in Acta Sanctorum, September 23rd, pp. 550 f., the extant 
Acta is treated as a forged compilation, made in the fourth century 
from the work known to Tertullian. 

2)^6 The Chttrch in the Roman Empire, 

were more in accordance with the spirit of later Catholicism. 
Finally, in process of time, the objectionable features were 
toned down and eliminated, so that in the extant MSS. 
not a single trace remains of Thekla's administering the 
rite of baptism, to others. To render this work useful as 
an authority for the feeling of the second century, we must 
then try to restore the character which it had when Ter- 
tuUian read it. 

The extant Acta^ of which numerous MSS. are known to 
exist,* including versions in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armen- 
ian, Slavonic, represent on the whole one single document, 
though differences far beyond mere textual variety exist 
between the different versions and MSS. The general 
tendency of recent criticism (see, e.g., Lipsius, die apokry- 
phen Apostelgesck., ii., p. 424, to which, and to his edition 
of the text, it is needless to say how much I am indebted ; 
Lightfoot, Ignat. and Polyc.y i., p. 623??. ; Dr. Gwynn in 
Smith's Diet. Christ. Biog., iv., pp. 882 ff., etc.), is to place 
this document in the latter part of the second century. 
To judge on such a point we may best begin by 9 brief 
analysis of the document. 

Thekla belonged to one of the noblest families in Iconium. 
Her mother was called Thcoklcia, which seems to be only a 
Grecised form of the same name ; neither father nor brother 
nor sister has any part in the extant talc. When Paul came 
to Iconium he lived in the house of Oncsiphorus,t and his 
preaching was audible to Thekla, who sat at a window in 
her mother's house, and refused to stir from it or to take 

* Professor Rendel Harris told me that he had seen at Mount 
Sinai eight or nine MSS. None have been collated. 

t On his journey to Iconium and welcome by Onesiphorus, see 
above, p. 31. Titus intimated Paul's intended visit, , 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 2)77 

food. No entreaties moved her. Her betrothed lover, 
Thamyris, after vainly trying to bring her back to her 
ordinary mode of life, went out to observe Paul. Two 
false friends of Paul, Demas and Hermogenes, advised 
him to accuse Paul of being a Christian, and next day he 
took Paul before the proconsul, Castelius, and accused him 
of dissuading women from marriage — i.e.^ of tampering 
with the customs of society. Castelius remanded Paul 
for further examination, and in the night he was visited 
secretly by Thekla. She was found at his feet next 
morning by Theokleia and Thamyris. Both culprits were 
taken before Castelius. who ordered Paul to be scourged 
and expelled from the city, and Thekla, as her mother 
suggested and urged, to be burned. Men and women 
vied in preparing the pyre to burn Thekla in the theatre. 
She, after having a vision of the Lord in the appearance 
of Paul, was put on the pyre ; but the flames did not burn 
her, and a storm came on, quenched the fire, and killed 
many of the spectators.* 

Paul and the family of Onesiphorus spent many days 
fasting in a tomb on the road that leads to Daphne. When 
they were famishing Paul took off his coat, and sent a 
slave into the city to buy bread ; the slave met Thekla in 
the street (her intermediate adventures are not mentioned), 
and brought her to Paul. She wished to cut her hair and 
follow Paul, but he refused to permit this. She then asked 
him to baptise her, which he refused to do. 

Paul and Thekla then went to Antioch. The high-priest 
of Syria, Alexander, saw them as they entered, and, struck 

* The versions vary. Some read, *' so that many died "; others, 
" so that many were in danger of death," 

37^ The Church in the Roman Empire. 

with passion for Thckla, proposed to purchase her from 
Paul, who repHed, ** I do not know the woman of whom 
thou speakest, nor is she mine." Paul at this point dis- 
appears from the action ; Thekla was left alone. Alexander 
put his arm round her and kissed her ; and she tore his 
garment and the crown which he wore on his head. Alex- 
ander took her before the proconsul, who condemned her 
to be thrown to wild beasts. General pity was felt among 
the people, and the women loudly exclaimed, " Evil judg- 
ment ! impious judgment ! " Thekla asked to be safe from 
personal violence till her death ; and a rich lady. Queen 
Tryphaena, took her in charge, and became much attached 
to her, as come to replace her lost daughter. On the day 
of the preliminary procession Thekla was fastened on the 
back of a lioness, which licked her feet. On the following 
day took place the exhibition of beasts {yenatid). Try- 
phaena long refused to give up Thekla, but was at last 
obliged to let the soldiers take her away. In the arena, 
where she was exposed nude, except for a cincture, the 
lioness crouched at her feet, and fought for her, killing a 
bear and a lion, and dying in her defence. A leopard 
which attacked her burst asunder.* Then other beasts 
came against her, and she saw a trench full of water, and 
jumped in, saying, " I baptise myself" t The people were 
afraid that the seals would eat her, and the proconsul wept. 
But a cloud of fire encompassed her, and veiled her naked- 
ness from the gaze of the crowd, and lightnings killed the 
seals. The other animals fell into a stupor. Then she was 
fastened to fierce bulls, who were goaded to madness by 

* The leopard occurs only in the Syriac version. 

t I retain purposely the inconsequence of the incidents. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla, 379 

red-hot irons ; but the fire consumed the fastenings. Here 
Tryphsena fainted, and Thekla was released, for the officials 
were afraid of the anger of the Emperor, who was a relative 
of Tryphsena. Thekla went home with the Queen, refused, 
in spite of her entreaties, to remain more than eight days 
with her, converted the whole household, and then, modify- 
ing her dress to look like a man's, she went to Myra to 
meet Paul. Thereafter she returned to Iconium, offered to 
give her mother the wealth she had received from Try- 
phaena, and then went to Seleuceia. 

The rest of her life is variously related. Some authorities 
merely say that she converted many and died at Seleuceia ; 
others give a long narrative containing some very feeble 
miracles ; others make her undertake a journey to Rome ; 
the Syriac and Latin versions add nothing. 

When I am told that this production belongs to the same 
age, the same country, the same period of thought as the 
Acta of Carpus and Papylus, and the pathetic letter of the 
Lugdunensians to the churches of Asia ; that it is only a 
few years later than the simple and noble letter of the 
Smyrnaeans, which so moved Scaliger " that he seemed to 
be no longer master of himself," * I confess that I can 
only wonder. That the tale contains much that is fine is 
true ; but it also contains much rubbish, much that is 
glaringly incongruous with the finest parts. Still more 
must one marvel that Zahn should be willing to accept it, 
with a few omissions, as a work of the first century. 

In examining this work we shall not look at its doctrinal 
aspect. Obviously a work which has been exposed to 
modifications such as have been alluded to is peculiarly 

* I take the quotation from r.ightfoot, Ignat, and Poly c.^ i., 589 (604). 

380 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

liable to alteration in doctrinal points ; and dogma therefore 
will be a dangerous guide in attempting to analyse it The 
most remarkable disagreement exists between those who 
have tried to estimate precisely its dogmatic position. 
Schlau considers that the Acta is a polemic by a Catholic 
writer against Gnostic libertinism : works such as i TimotJiy, 
falsely attributed to Paul, had discredited him in Church 
circles, and the writer's object was to present a picture of 
Paul according to the Catholic taste. Lipsius considers 
that the Acta was originally a Gnostic composition, designed 
to inculcate the doctrine of absolute virginity and abstinence 
even from marriage, and abstinence from the use of flesh 
and wine ; and that this original work was re-edited in 
the third century with its doctrines toned down to avoid 
offending the Catholic taste ; he refuses to believe that 
there were at the time in question any Catholics in whose 
eyes St. Paul was discredited (a scepticism in which 
he will find supporters), or that the Catholic taste desired 
that an apostle should be of the type attributed in the Acta 
to Paul. Dr. Gwynn "' maintains that the work is written 
by an orthodox and well-meaning, but not clear-headed, 
author, who was unable to understand Paul's doctrine. 

It will be allowed that examination of the Acta from the 
side of dogma has not led to such consensus of opinion as 
to preclude a different theory moving on a different plane 
of thought, and founded mainly on archaeological argu- 
ments. It may conduce to clearness to begin by stating 
the view f which will be supported in the ensuing pages. 

* In Diet, Christ. Biogr., iv., 8gi : he quotes Dr. Salmon, 
Iiitrodicction to New 7'estament, ed. ii., p. 420, as in agreement. 

t Several points in it have been maintained by others ; the novelty 
lies in some of the arguments on which it is founded. 

XVi. The Acta of Paid and Thekla. 381 

1. Acta Paiili et Theklce goes back ultimately to a docu- 
ment of the first century. 

2. The original document, whose contents can now be 
only conjectured, mentioned facts of history and antiquities 
which had probably passed quite out of knowledge before 
the end of the first century, and which have been redis- 
covered only during the last twenty years. 

3. This document, not being protected by canonical 
character and popular veneration, was subjected to altera- 
tions, due partly to change of views in the Church, partly to 
the growth of the Thekla legend, which was a myth (te/oo? 
X0709), explaining and justifying the gradual spread of the 
worship of Saint Thekla. 

4. The scene of the original tale, be it history, or romance, 
or Dichtung tmd Wahrheit, lay in Iconium and Antioch of 
Pisidia, and the action begins during Paul's first visit to 

5. In the versions preserved to us, Antioch of Syria has 
been substituted for Antioch of Pisidia through a mis- 
understanding on the part of an enlarger and editor, who 
is much older than Basil of Seleuceia (fifth century). 

In treating this subject the following questions must be 
clearly held apart from each other : i. Is the work, as we 
have it, explicable as the production of a single author ? 
No difficulty will be felt in answering this in the negative. 

2. If it is not a single work by a single author, what are 
the parts, and to what dates are they to be assigned ? 

3. Do the earliest parts form, or appear to have originally 
belonged to, a complete literary work, or can they be 
explained as traditional survivals of a popular legend living 
on in the popular memory, and worked up into literary 
form at a later time ? 

382 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

4. If the earliest parts once belonged to a work of 
literature, what historical value did the work possess? The 
existence of such a work, and its truth as history, are distinct 

We shall, as the best method of answering the last three 
questions, and of corroborating the answer given to the first, 
examine the work minutely to discover indications of the 
date to which each must be assig-ned. 


2. Queen Tryph.^na. 

In the action of the romance the denoument turns on the 
protection granted to Thekla by Queen Trypha^na, who be- 
came a second mother to the Christian virgin, and saved her 
honour and her life. It is impossible to imagine a form of 
the romance in which the figure of the queen is wanting ; 
she must have been a character in the tale from the beginning. 

Von Gutschmid was the first to point out that Queen 
Trypha^na was probably a historical character. He appealed 
to certain rare coins of the kingdom of Pontus, which show 
on the obverse the bust of a king with the title BA^IAEflS 
nOAEMflNO^, on the reverse the bust of a queen with 
the title BA^IAI^I:H^ TPT^AINH^ ; * and he argued 
that this queen, whose bust appears on Pontic coins, was 
the Queen Tryphaena of the Acta. 

There were obvious difficulties in the identification. The 
Tryphaena of the coins was queen of the independent 
kingdom of Pontus ; and the Tryphaena of the romance 
was apparently a Roman subject, resident in the city of 

* Rhein. Mus., 1864, p. 178 : the types imply that the Queen 
reigned by her own hereditary right, and not simply as Queen- 
Consort. Lipsius, p. 464, speaks of Cilicia, not Pontus ; but 
Gutschmid is right, and the coins are Pontic. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Tkekla. 383 

Antioch. The former was a powerful sovereign, for Polemon 
is known to have reigned in Pontus until A.D. 63, whereas 
the latter complains of her friendlessness and helplessness. 
The former was apparently a Greek ; the latter was a near 
relation of the reigning Emperor. Polemon's wife could 
not on any reasonable hypothesis be an elderly woman 
in A.D. 50, as Tryphsena in the tale is represented. 

Von Gutschmid advanced an hypothesis to get rid of 
some of these difficulties, and to establish a relationship 
between the Pontic queen and the Emperor Claudius ; and 
all subsequent scholars, when writing on the Acta of Paul 
and Thekla, have confined themselves to reproducing his 
hypothesis.* We shall not here repeat it, as subsequent 
investigations have completely disproved it. Nor shall we 
recapitulate the gradual progress of discovery, in which the 
chief parts have been played by Von Sallet, Waddington, 
and Mommsen ; though It would be a matter of Interest to 
observe how evidence slowly accumulated, and one fact 
after another was gradually established ; and it would 
also be important to show the nature of the evidence, for the 
facts are not all equally firmly established, and some may 
yet require some modification from further discovery. We 
may accept and briefly repeat the account given by 
Mommsenf of this queen, as being in all essential points 

* Zahn, in Gotting. Gehhrte Anzeigen, 1877, P- ^?)^1^ argues on 
the supposition that it has been demonstrated as certain. 

t E^hemeris E;pigra;phica, i., pp. 270 ff. ; ii., pp. 259 ff. Lipsius 
refers, p. 465/2., to the Tryphaena whom Mommsen describes, as a 
person bearing the same name as the Tryphaena of the Acta and 
of Gutschmid. He did not discover that she is the true Pontic 
queen, of whom Gutschmid gave such a boldly hypothetical history, 
in which the only true points were her name and her identity with the 
queen oi the Acta. On a few small points I tacitly differ from Mommsen. 

384 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

well established ; and we may do so with more confidence 
because none of the facts on which his account is founded 
are derived from the Christian Acta^ nor have any of the 
successive investigators observed that the facts which they 
have discovered bear on this document. 

Queen Tryphsena belonged to a family which played an 
important part in the history of Asia Minor in the two 
centuries immediately before and after Christ ; and it will 
be a really important step in our knowledge of the diffusion 
of Christianity in Asia Minor, if we succeed in establishing 
its relations with this dynasty. Our knowledge of the 
dynasty rests almost wholly on the evidence of inscriptions 
and coins ; in literature there occurs hardly any reference 
to it. It left no mark on the history of the world, and had 
no place in the memory of posterity. It is in the last 
degree improbable that any person so late as A.D. 150 
remembered the existence of this queen,* or that a tale 
in which she was a prominent character first received literary 
form so late as the latter part of the second century.f It is a 
striking instance of the historical value of the early Christian 
documents, that the only deep mark this dynasty has left 
on literature is in a Christian work ; and I hope to succeed 
in showing that several facts with regard to Tryphaena's 
fate, which are stated in the Acta and are nowhere else 
attested, are so suitable to the well-established facts of her 
life, that they deserve to be accepted as historical. 

* One exception probably was the Sophist of Smyrna, M. Antonius 
Polemon, whose magnificent progresses in almost royal state between 
Laodiceia (the original seat of the family) and Smyrna are described 
in very interesting terms by Philostratus. He, no doubt, thought a 
good deal about his royal relatives ; and it is possible that Tryphaena 
was his great-grandmother. 

t Zahn, I.e., has put this point well. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and TheJda. 385 

In the first place, we must observe how well certain traits 
in the Acta agree with the historical position of this dynasty. 
This family owed its importance to the Imperial policy in 
Asia Minor. As we have seen (p. 34), the romanisation of 
the central parts of Asia Minor was in progress actively 
between A.D. 30 and 70 ; and the attention of the Emperors 
was closely directed on it. It was part of their policy to 
interpose what are in modern slang called " buffer-states " 
between the Roman boundaries and their great enemy in 
the East, the Parthians. It was important that these 
States should be governed by sovereigns closely united by 
feeling, interest, and family ties with the Empire. The 
influence exercised by this lonely widow among the Roman 
officers, the deference paid her, and the fear of the Emperor's 
anger if anything should happen to her, are in perfect 
agreement with the historical situation. 

In the second place, it would be an effective argument to 
show how the difficulties of reconciling the Tryphaena of 
the Acta with the historical Tryphaena have disappeared 
one by one in the gradual progress of discovery ; but it 
would require too minute discussion of the facts. One 
example, however, is too striking to be omitted. This 
Polemon, who appears along with Tryphaena on Pontic 
coins, was a mere boy in the year 37, and must have been 
a comparatively young man at the time at which the action 
of the Christian tale is laid. But Tryphaena in the tale is 
an elderly woman. How could so young a king have 
an elderly wife ? This difficulty was cleared away by 
M. Waddington's observation that the queen on the coins 
is a mature woman, while the king is represented as a mere 
boy ; and that the pair are not wife and husband, but 
mother and son. 


386 The Chui^ck in the Roman Empire, 

Queen Tryphaena was daughter of Polemon, King of part 
of Lycaonia and Cilicia, and also of Pontus. She married 
Cotys, King of Thrace, and became the mother of three 
kings^ Thracian, Pontic, and Armenian. She was in her 
own right queen of Pontus, but only queen -consort in 
Thrace, hence her name does not appear on Thracian 
coins. She was probably about forty-six years of age when 
her son Polemon was made king of Pontus in A.D. 37;* 
and the latter was then perhaps about nineteen years old. 
In A.D. 50 she was therefore nearly sixty. This suits the 
Acta perfectly. 

A young king who comes of age after his mother has 
exercised for some years the sovereign power during his 
minority, does not always find it easy to get on amicably 
with her. Tryphaena, whose mother Pythodoris had reigned 
for many years as sole sovereign after her husband's 
death, was not unlikely to be rather too exacting in her 
demands on her son's obedience. It is certain that, though 
we hear a little about Polemon, we never hear in history of 
the Pontic queen. It therefore appears that Tryphaena did 
not continue to exercise in Pontus the commanding influence 
which her mother had possessed, while it is quite natural 
that she may have desired to exert a similar influence. 
The queen in the Acta complains of her friendlessness. 
There is then every probability that this is historically 
true ; and that she had quarrelled with her son, who found 
that she insisted too much on her rights, and retired to a 
life of seclusion on her own private estates in one of her 
father's kingdoms. 

* I have placed in an excursus a brief outline of Mommsen's history 
of the family, to avoid encumbering j:he text with facts not strictly 
belonging to my subject, yet having a bearing on it. 

XVI, The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 38; 

Tryphaena was cousin, once removed, of the Empcroi 
Claudius, her mother Pythodoris being his full cousin. 
The relationship was through the Antonian family, for the 
mothers of Pythodoris and of Claudius were sisters, both 
being daughters of Marcus Antonius the Triumvir, and 
bearing the name Antonia. The connection with the 
great enemy of Augustus was no great advantage to 
Tryphaena in her earlier years, when Augustus and Tiberius 
ruled the empire. The very name of the Triumvir was 
long proscribed and forbidden to be mentioned on monu- 
ments or uttered by loyal citizens ; * and, though the 
prohibition was rescinded at least as early as A.D. 20, 
possibly even before the death of Augustus, still he was not 
mentioned by Augustus in the monumentum Ancyranum.\ 
It was not till the accession of Caligula, his great-grandson, 
in A.D. 37, that it became a really great advantage to belong 
to the Antonian family, whose members were honoured 
and promoted by the young Emperor. His successor, 
Claudius, continued the same policy ; and during this reign 
it is quite in accordance with the scanty evidence that the 
picture given in the Acta should be strictly true : the 
widowed queen, though aged and living in retirement, 
retained the prestige due to her relationship to the reigning 
Emperor, to her former power as a reigning queen, and 
probably also to her personal ability and energy.| 

* See Mommsen, Res Gestce D. Aug., ed. II., p. 180. 

t Tacitus, Annals, iii., 18; Mommsen, /. c, p. vi. and p. 181. 

X Her family undoubtedly showed high ability both before and 
after her time. Her mother was certainly a remarkable woman; 
and the inscriptions which attest Tryphaena's relations with Cyzicos 
make it probable that she had something of her mother's character. 
The respect shown to her at Cyzicos illustrates the dignity ascribed to 
her in the Acta. Tryphaena at Cyzicos, c. 300, Act. SS., Jan. II., 1081 , 

388 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Further, there is every probability that within a few 
years the situation changed. In 54 A.D. Claudius died, and 
Nero succeeded him ; and the new Emperor rather made a 
point of throwing contempt and ridicule on his predecessor. 
After a few years he even stripped Polemon of his kingdom 
of Pontus, leaving him, however, a principality among the 
mountain districts of western Cilicia. The picture given in 
the Acta of Tryph^na's situation, while true to the time 
in which the scene is laid, ceased to be so after a very few 
years had passed ; after 54 she was no longer a relative of 
the Emperor, and in all probability she lost much of her 
personal influence with the Roman officials. 

It is not possible to account for this accuracy in details * 
by the supposition that it is a skilful archaeological forgery. 
Such an accurate restoration of a past epoch would be 
utterly different in type from other ancient forgeries, and 
beyond the limits of ancient thought and knowledge. The 
tale must be founded on fact, and committed to writing 
by some person not far removed from the events, able to 
compose a history, or at least a poetical idealisation of 
history. No other hypothesis seems consistent with the 
fidelity to a transitory and soon-forgotten epoch of history. 
Wc must hold that the tale is, at least in part, historical, 
that Thekla was a real person, and that she was brought 
into relations with the greatest figures of the Galatic 
province about A.D. 50 — viz., Paul, Queen Trypha:na, and 
the Roman governor. 

* Her name is correctly given. As a Roman lady, she was 

Antonia Tryphaena, but as a queen she dropped the Antonia. So 

M. Antonius Polemon, as her son was certainly called, became 
King Polemon. 

XVI . The Acta of Paid and Thekla. 389 

Two points occur to the critic in regard to which the 
Tryphaena of the Ada differs from the historical Trypha^na. 

1. In the Acta, § 30, the Queen says, " There is no one to 
aid me, neither child, for my child has died,* nor relative, 
for I am a widow." The real queen had at this period 
three sons living as kings, and powerful relatives. But 
these words must be taken as the exaggerated expression 
of grief uttered by a lonely old woman, who feels that her 
sons have not remained true to her, and are as good as 
dead to her ; and they are, if pressed, actually inconsistent 
with the tale itself, for in § 36 she is said to be the 
Emperor's relative. Moreover, the Armenian has not this 
additional colouring, but merely reads, " no one is there of 
my noble house who will back me," thereby implying, as 
Mr. Conybeare observes, that she had influential relatives 
living, but not near enough to help. The Syriac agrees, 
but is not so clear and decisive. 

2. Tryphaena in the legend seems to reside at Antioch 
of Pisidia. The family to which she belonged is not known 
to have had any connection with Antioch ; and we have seen 
that the natural place of retirement for the historical Queen 
would be some of the hereditary possessions of her family. 
We could understand her retiring to estates beside Laodiceia 
on the Lycus, where immense property was owned by 
M. Antonius Polemon as late as the second century, or to 
estates near Iconium ; but that she should be residing at 
Antioch is not in keeping with what is known of the 
family. This difficulty will disappear in the course of the 
investigation into the original form of the tale. 

* The Greek also permits the rendering, ** for my children have 

390 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

3. Localities of the Tale of Thekla. 

The action of the tale was originally placed at Paul's 
first visit to Iconium. The general impression is that he 
is a stranger in the city, and yet various details point 
to a later visit. This contradiction points to additions or 
alterations made in an older tale through misunderstanding. 
With this is connected the doubt whether the Antioch of 
the tale is the Syrian or the Pisidian. If the scene is laid 
in the first journey the Pisidian Antioch must be meant, 
and indubitably the general impression is to that effect. 
But, if the scene is laid in any other journey, the Antioch 
of § I must be the Syrian ; and the other references are 
naturally interpreted accordingly. The doubt was felt at a 
very early time, and Basil of Selcuceia says that the Syrian 
Antioch was really the city alluded to, though Pisidian 
Antioch claimed to be the scene of Thckla's trial. His 
opinion was evidently founded on some definite argument ; 
and this argument was probably as follows. We have 
seen, p. 31 ff., that the meeting of Paul and Onesiphorus 
was originally described in terms true to the road-system 
of the first century, but unintelligible afterwards, and that 
the original text was afterwards changed considerably. 
The idea taken from the passage in later time was that 
Onesiphorus went out from Iconium along the road to 
Lystra, and therefore met Paul on his way from Lystra. 
This implies that he was coming from the Syrian Antioch, 
and therefore that the journey was cither the second or 
third. Basil was familiar with the topography of a countr}^ 
so near his own Isaurian home, and naturally argued in 
this way. The fact that Isauria was subject to the See 
of Antioch, and not, like Lycaonia, to Constantinoole, 

XVI. The Acta of Paid and Tkekla. 391 

may also have prejudiced him in favour of the Syrian 

The reference to Daphne, and the title Syriarch, applied 
to the president of the games at Antioch, belong to a 
remodelling of the tale, executed by a person who believed 
that the Syrian city was meant. (See p. 426 f ) 

In the first century no Roman governor resided either 
at Antioch or at Iconium ; and, if a governor played any 
part in the action at either city, a document of historical 
character would give, either expressly * or incidentally, 
some explanation of the unusual fact that he was present. 
The course of the tale explains why a governor was at 
Antioch ; but there is nothing to show why he should 
be at Iconium. This circumstance alone would be enough 
to prove that the trial at Iconium before the governor is 
quite unhistorical ; and this conclusion is confirmed by 
numerous details in the scene. (See p. 426 f.) 

We infer from these facts that a tale, originally belong- 
ing to Paul's first journey, and occurring in Galatic 
Phrygia (Iconium and Pisidian Antioch), was afterwards 
remodelled so as to relate to the second or third journey, 
and to have its scene in part at Syrian Antioch. 

4. The Trials at Iconium. 

The double trial and attempted execution of Thekla 
before two Roman governors in two cities stamp the tale 
as unhistorical, and also suggests a double origin, for a 
single inventor would be content with one governor 
and one trial. Now we have seen that the governor of 

* So, in the opening of Acta Car;pi, the proconsul's presence at 
Pergamos is noticed, and the notice is an explanation. 

392 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

Iconium must be unhistorical ; and, when we eliminate 
him, the trial and punishment there must also disappear, 
for only a Roman governor had authority to pass a capital 
sentence (p. 281;/.). Moreover, the salvation of Thekla 
is not rightly worked into the tale. No explanation is 
given as to what happened to her when the fire was 
quenched ; and in the following paragraph we find her 
walking in the streets of Iconium, just as if she were an 
ordinary inhabitant, and not a convicted criminal under 
sentence of death. We conclude, then, that the trial at 
Antioch and the trial at Iconium spring from different 
origins, and that the latter was unskilfully inserted in a talc 
where the former previously had a place. See p. 426 f. 

We now turn to the trial and punishment of Paul in 
Iconium. The charges against him are double and self- 
contradictory. First, Demas and Hermogenes advise 
Thamyris to accuse Paul of being a Christian, as this 
will prove fatal to him. Such a detail could not originate 
until a much later date than A.D. 50 ; for the charge was 
an impossible one at that period. The other charge — of 
being a magician and of unlawfully interfering with the 
conduct and feelings of women and the established habits 
of society — is characteristic of that early period (pp. 236, 
282, 410), and points to an origin not later than A.D. 80. 
The implication that the charge of magic, § 15, is the 
same as that of intcrfcrinGf with the fcelinsr and action 
of others, § 16, is true of the period 50-70 A.D. 

Expulsion from the city is a ridiculously small penalty 
for a provincial governor to inflict, if he considered the 
charge proved. But in A.D. 50, in Iconium, the charge 
could only be made before the city magistrates ; and 
they could not inflict a severer penalty. They might send 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and The Ida. 393 

him for trial by the governor, or they might expel him 
from the city. We conckicle, then, that the Roman 
governor has been unskilfully put into an older tale, in 
which the judges were the city magistrates,* and which was 
more in keeping with Acts xiv. 3-5 (especially as given in 
Codex Bezce) ; also that the accusation suggested by Demas 
is a later addition. 

The trial of Thckla in Iconium is an anachronism from 
beginning to end. The punishment pre-supposes the 
presence of a Roman governor ; and there was no governor 
in Iconium. The bitter spirit of the mother, who urges 
the governor to burn her daughter as an example to other 
women in future, is quite unnatural. The natural course 
of events is that Thekla should be dealt with in private 
by her own family (p. 348;^.). There was really no charge 
against her to come before a court, much less before a 
Roman governor. Now,^ when we turn to one of the 
earliest independent accounts of the legend of Thekla, 
contained in a Homily attributed to Chrysostom,t we find 
that the account there given is very different from that 
contained in the Acta^ and agrees perfectly with what we 
must consider the natural course in the time of Claudius. 
Far more stress is in the Homily laid on private action in 
the family. Her parents, her lover, her relatives, and her 
domestics, all urged and entreated her. Finally, she was 
taken before the dikastai* who attempted to terrify her 

* Arm. mentions only a dikastes (p. 426 f). Basil uses sometimes 
the term dikastes, sometimes proconsul. In Acta Fio?iii, dikastai 
tried the case at Smyrna, and sent it for trial before the proconsul. 

t Opera, Montfaucon vol. ii , pp. 896-9, ed. II., pp. 749-51, ed. I. 
Opinion seems universal that the Homily is not in his style ; and we 
are thus deprived of a date, which would have been welcome. It is 
quite probable that the Homily may be as old as A.D. 300. 

394 ^-^^ Church in the Roman Empire. 

with threats of punishment, and then dismissed her. She 
then wandered away, trying to find Paul, and guiding 
herself by rumours as to his probable destination. Her 
lover pursued her, and overtook her. When she was on 
the point of becoming a victim to his violence she prayed 
to Heaven ; and here, unfortunately, the fragment ends. We 
cannot hesitate to accept this as the original tale. The 
author must have had access to an older form of the tale 
of Thekla in which there was no Roman governor, no 
condemnation and punishment, and no miraculous rescue 
from the flames. Apparently the family tried all means 
of persuasion and home influence, and even the terror of 
a law court. At this trial it would be natural that the 
mother, provoked by Thekla's long-continued obstinacy, 
should be desirous that such punishment as was in the 
power of the dikastai should be inflicted on her ; but 
this trait, retained in the extant Acta, becomes unnatural 
when the punishment is death by fire. Finally, it is 
probable that her wandering forth was permitted in pur- 
suance of a plan of cure, which was founded on the belief 
that, if Thamyris once succeeded, even by violence, in 
forcing her to submit to his embraces, the influence gained 
over her by the enchanter and magician Paul would be 

In this version all is natural, simple, and suitable to the 
time and place. We accept the visit to Paul by night, and 
the bribing of the porter and gaoler ; and we observe that 
the bracelets and the silver mirror are objects that would 
be ready at hand to a maiden of rich family. We also 
notice the characteristic trait that the domestics entreat 
her with tears. The inscriptions of the country, with their 
common reservation of a place in the family tomb for 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 3^5 

domestic slaves, prove that close and intimate ties con- 
nected the household slaves with the master's family. On 
the other hand, the details of the attempt to burn Thekla 
are poor, and either unnatural or borrowed * The vision 
is a stock incident, not very successfully introduced, and 
rather like an invention of a later century (founded on the 
Acta of Carpos and Agathonike). (See p. 426 f ) 

The meeting of Paul with Thekla in the grave at 
Iconium disappears, when the old form of the tale is re- 
stored ; and, with the meeting, their journey to Antioch in 
company is eliminated, as well as the detestable incident 
of Paul's denial and desertion of Thekla, when she was 
exposed to the insults of Alexander. These last details 
have perhaps arisen from a misunderstanding. Thekla, 
when seized by Alexander's attendants, called in her 
distress on Paul ; and the dull wit of a later timx thought 
that this implied his bodily presence. (See p. 426 f.) 

5. The Trial of Thekla at Antioch. 

In the Antiochian part of the talc we are struck at once 
with the fact that Thekla does not suffer for any act of a 
religious character, and throughout the scene of the trial 
no reference is made to her religion (except in some later 
points : Gwynn, p. 889). An inventor of a legend about 
a Christian heroine would never have imagined a .scene in 
which religion played no part. We feel here at once the 
touch of reality and life. The trial at Antioch is on a very 
different plane of thought and feeling from that at Iconium. 

* One detail seems borrowed from the case of Polycarp. See 
Lightfoot, i., p. 623^2. 

39^ The Church in the Roman Empire. 

The central difficulty is the presence of a Roman governor. 
We cannot get rid of him as we did of the Iconian 
governor ; for the crime — which was sacrilege — and the 
sentence alike imperatively demand his presence. But the 
action fully explains why he was in Antioch. The occasion 
was a great festival containing an exhibition of wild beasts 
(venatio), which, in a provincial city not the capital of 
the province, was a remarkable event. The festival, with 
its Roman venatio, had evidently a political character, being 
part of the government scheme for the romanisation of 
Southern Galatia. The governor had visited Antioch to 
make the event more imposing ; and ail the chief persons 
in Galatic Phrygia had come to pay their respects to 
him and to the Imperial authority which he represented. 
Among the rest. Queen Trypha^na had come from her 
estates- near Iconium for this great occasion. Thus the 
solution of one difficulty solves another (p. 389). 

Alexander, the agonotJietes or president at this festival, 
must have been a person of great importance, and a lead- 
ing figure in the State religion, which was the bond of 
loyalty and union in the Empire. In the Greek MSS. he 
is styled Syriarch, which belongs to the later modification. 
It is quite possible that, in the original text, he was the 
Galatarch, or high-priest of the Galatic province. Two 
of the Latin MSS. mention that he was the giver of the 
venatio ; * and this detail is true to common practice. The 
president frequently added at his own expense to the 
magnificence of the festival at which he presided (p. 426). 

Alexander, accompanied of course by a great train of 

* Probably the text of D. also did so ; but it has been corrupted. 
Alexa?idro ^rccsens sedente should be corrected to Alexandra 
^rcesens {7nu?ni)s edente. Syr. and Ar?n. make him the giver. 

XVI. TJie Acta of Paul aitd Thekla. 397 

attendants, saw Thekla entering Antioch, and was struck 
with her beauty. A young woman alone in the street of 
an eastern town was obviously a dancing-girl of no respect- 
able character ; and as such Alexander accosted her and 
kissed her. The act was originally a piece of gallantry, a 
kindness and an honour to a person of her class ; and we 
notice that the accounts given of it make it more heinous 
and offensive in the later texts than in the earlier. Con- 
sidering the person and the occasion, we must not attribute 
any ugly character to it ; for Alexander was apparently 
on his way to the festival. Thekla loudly invoked the 
right of a stranger and guest — a touch true to ancient 
feeling. She explained her position, as belonging to a 
noble Iconian family, and engaged in the service of " the 
God." Finally, when Alexander persisted in his attentions, 
she tore his dress, and pulled off the crown which marked 
his sacred office.* 

The reason given by Thekla was the only one that 
could, in this Oriental land, explain the appearance 
unattended in the streets of a lady of good character and 
birth. She was one of the inspired servants {deo(j)6priroi), 
who were a recognised and wide-spread accompaniment 
of the Asian religion. In accordance with the service 
imposed on her by " the God," she was observing a rule 
of chastitv. In this relimon the observance of absolute 
and perfect purity was a recognised rite, though, as a 
rule, such inspired female servants of the God were bound 
to precisely the opposite way of life during their period 

* M. Le Blant wrongly considers him 2iStepha7ie;phoros {Actes des 
Martyrs, p. 320). That official was a municipal magistrate, whereas 
the president of such a festival belonged to the provincial organisa- 
tion of the Imperial religion. 

39^ The Church in the Roman Empire. 

of service, and were not considered dishonoured thereby * 
This trait takes us into the midst of popular Hfe, and 
makes the original part of the Acta a unique document 
for illustrating the spirit prevalent in Galatic Phrygia in 
A.D. 50. If one compares it with the tale of the sacrifice 
at Lystra and the legend of Baucis and Philemon, and 
then reads the Attis of Catullus, one appreciates better 
the character of Phrygian thought, its difference from 
Greek, and the fascination which it possesses. 

Alexander's attendants arrested Thekla, and carried her 
before the governor. The case was susceptible of a serious 
interpretation. She had assaulted a representative of the 
Imperial authority, wearing his official priestly dress, on 
the morning of a great ceremony at which he was about 
to preside. The offence was sacrilege, and, as such, was 
in the category of dangerous crimes commended to the 
special care of all governors (p. 208). The governor was 
satisfied as to the facts by the confession of the accused 
(pp. 214, 238) ; a severe example would bring home to 
all minds the terror of Roman authority ; and the penalty 
of exposing Thekla at the venatio given by Alexander 
seemed peculiarly appropriate to the offence. Such 
a sentence was probably new to the country, where Roman 
customs were only coming into use ; and it is interesting 
to observe the effect produced. The whole city was 
astonished ; and the women were specially active in 
protesting against the sentence as iniquitous.f The 

* An inscription of Tralles shows the general type. A woman 
of good birth (proved by her Latin name) erects a dedicatory 
offering to Zeus, as having, like her ancestors, TroXXaKeuo-ao-a Koi koto. 
xpr]afx6v. See Bi^/l. de Corresp. Hellhtique, 1882, p. 276. 

fThe Syriac and Latin versions keep this detail; the Greek has 

XVI, The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 399 

question suggests itself, how the women could be present 
at the trial. The trial was evidently held in public at 
the actual festival before the whole assembled multitude ; 
the case Jiad been carried straight before the governor, and 
decided by him sitting in his official place at the festival,* 
being one of an administrative, and not of a strictly judicial, 
character (p. 207). 

The general sympathy had some effect The governor 
granted Thekla the privilege, ordinarily reserved for 
criminals of higher rank, of being confined in a private 
house instead of a prison. It was only too evident what 
reason a condemned female prisoner had to dread the 
gaoler's brutality ; t and, to enable her to fulfil her service 
of purity, the noblest lady in the assembly. Queen 

lost it. From the recurrence of their protest in §§ 28, 32, we gather 
their view, that Thekla represented them, what she had done they 
might be ordered by " the God" to do, and her action was covered 
by the Divine command which all who received it must obey (see 
p. 403). Harnack has seen the analogy between the sympathy of 
the women here, and the sympathy of the crowd for Agathonike 
in Acta Car;pi^ and rightly inclines to think the latter an. imitation. 
He remarks on the motivelessness of the pity for Agathonike, who 
was voluntarily rushing on death. 

* Similarly Polycarp was heard and condemned in the Stadium 
at Smyrna. M. Le Blant quotes many examples, I.e. p. 116. 

t Moreover, the ingenuity of Roman practice had in A.D. 31 
perverted a humane scruple {triumvirali supplicio adfici virginem 
inauditu7n habebatur) into a reason for detestable brutality to the 
young daughter of Sejanus (Tacitus, Ann., v., 9) ; and this act 
constituted a precedent, which might defend numerous cases of 
similar brutality to Christian virgins in later time. There is no 
reason to disbelieve these cases, as Neumann does, p. 142;^. They 
are attested by too weighty evidence, though of course the fantastic 
developments given to them in later hagiography are inane. If 
such things were done to the innocent daughter of a Roman noble, 
why not to a Christian criminal ? 

400 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Tryphaina, offered to be security for her appearance at 
the proper moment. This kind of confinement {custodia 
libera, pjHvatd) was common. A guarantee { fide-Jus sor)\xdiS 
required ; and ordinarily it would be difficult to find one 
in the case of a person condemned to death.* Only 
exceptional circumstances could have saved Thekla from 
the public prison ; but the details here, though unusual, bear 
the stamp of reality and truth. 

The opening ceremony of the games in the Stadium f 
consisted in a procession, in which were displayed the 
ornaments of the show and the officials who directed it. 
This is true to Roman custom. Tertullian speaks of " the 
ostentatious preliminary display of the games to which the 
name procession specially belongs," Sped. 7 ; and Juvenal 
describes it x. 35. In one point the Acta goes beyond our 
other authorities. These do not mention that the animals 
were ever shown in the procession, and it is unnatural that 
wild beasts should be taken through the streets, whether 
in cages or otherwise. Here, as in many other details, the 
Latin version retains a far more accurate account than the 
Greek. The latter represents Thekla as forming part of 
the procession, bound to a lioness ; whereas the Latin says 

* Roman law was very severe in the case of a prisoner's escape, 
and the guard in charge was, strictly, liable to the fate of the escaped 
prisoner. Hadrian distinguished (expressly in the case of military 
guards, and by implication in the case of others) between fault, 
carelessness, and accident, on the part of the guards, and dis- 
criminated penalties accordingly {Digest., 48, 3, 12). 

t Stadium in the Greek, amphitheatre in the Latin. No remains 
of either were seen by Hamilton or by Laborde ; nor did I, in a very 
short visit, see any. But such a city must have had some place 
for public exhibitions. Probably it was a o-r«8ioi/ a\i^iBiaT^ov, a 
species of building, about which I hope in 1893 to write in Bulletin 
de Corresp. Hellenique, 

XVL The Ada of Paid and TJiekla, 401 

that Thekla was placed on the top of the cage where the 
lioness was confined in the amphitheatre, and that, when 
she was in that position, the procession entered the arena. 
The Honess protruded its tongue between the bars of the 
cage, and Hcked Thekla's feet. The extent to which 
the ignorant creative fancy of later hagiography has 
distorted the original document into unnatural form is 
well exemplified in this case. The Syriac version is here 
useless, being changed by foolish additions ; but we cannot 
doubt that the Latin approximates far more closely than 
the Greek to the original text. I see no reason to treat 
the incident as one that may not have actually occurred. 
The lioness had been brought from a distance in a 
portable cage. This cage was put in the arena during 
the procession. 

When Thekla was thus exhibited in the arena, a tablet 
was placed beside her with the inscription " SACRILEGA." 
Similarly at Lugdunum in 177, it is mentioned that in 
front of Attains was placed the inscription " CHRISTIANUS."* 
The Greek rendering lepoavXo^ recalls the language of 
Acts xix. 37 (see p. 260/2.). 

6. Punishment and Escape of Thekla. 

On the day of the procession Tryphaena produced 
Thekla to take part in it, and received her back to her 
house to spend the final night. We cannot accept as 
original the statement that Tryphaena accompanied her 

* Cp. also Mark xv. 26. M. Le Blant quotes the gloss : elogiufn, 
titulus cujuslibelrei {ActeSy p. 172: the. v^ or 6. elogzum, ezclogmm., 
is used in D). He also compares the Greek text with Matt, xxvii. 
2,'j, forgetting, however, that he is quoting the valueless words of the 


402 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

during the procession. This is the exaggeration of a later 
enlarger, who did not comprehend the situation ; it is an 
improbabihty of the most glaring kind that this noble lady- 
should go into the arena. Moreover, it is inconsistent 
with the tale, for Tryphaena's great affection began during 
the next night,* when her lost daughter appeared and bade 
her take Thekla as a new-found daughter. 

At dawn of the following day Alexander appeared to 
require Thekla's presence in the arena. The fact that so 
high an official came in person can be explained only as a 
special mark of respect to the queen ; it was not thought 
courteous to send the officers of the law. But Tryphaena 
now refused to give up her prisoner, and did not yield until 
the governor sent soldiers.f Tryph^na then led her by the 
hand to the stadium. She, of course, was accompanied by 
a numerous retinue of her attendants, who are alluded to at 
a later stage 

When Thekla was exposed in the arena she was stripped, 
and a cincture was given her. When she was released her 
clothes were given back to her. This account, as M. Le 
Blant remarks, is true to Roman custom ; and he quotes 

* The Latin version D is very much superior to the Greek text. 
This could not be gathered from Lipsius' notes. I regret that I am 
obliged to write without having any of the Latin texts except D 
before me. 

t The Latin versions have stratoretn (two corruptly). I believe 
that this is due to the influence of such a document as Acta Procos. 
Cypriani, and marks these versions as being later than the middle 
of the third century. A strator would be an anachronism in the first 
century. Ulpian says that no proconsul is allowed to have stratores, 
but soldiers must perform their duties in the provinces {Digest, i., 
i6, 4, i); and probably this rule applied also to Imperial provinces 
like Galatia. The prohibition seems to have been relaxed between 
228 and 2s8 A.D 

XVI. The Acta of Patil and Thekla. 403 

the case of an executioner who was burned to death, because 
he had not given a cincture to a noble Roman woman 
when she was led to execution, but had compelled her to 
go absolutely nude.* The simple and pathetic prayer 
of Thekla, standing exposed in the arena (it is given in 
the Syriac version alone; see p. 413) is not in the later 
hagiographical style, and is probably genuine, in whole or 
in great part. Thekla in it speaks unconsciously as repre- 
senting her whole sex ; in her exposure the nature and 
rights of womanhood are outraged. A similar view is 
taken by the women who defended her cause ; and this 
ethical idea, of a non-religious type, which runs through 
the action, is one of the strongest proofs that the tale is no 
artificial creation of unhistorical hagiography. It is the 
only existing document that gives us any insight into 
popular feeling in central Asia Minor during this century ; 
and it is also the only evidence we possess of the ideas and 
action of women at this period in the country where their 
position was so high and their influence so great. 

The scene in the arena gives excellent opening to later 
additions. Marvels of the common type are related of the 
strange escape of Thekla from death ; and the incident of 
the seals slain by lightning is extremely grotesque and 
puerile. It is doubtful whether any details can be assigned 
to the original composition, except that the lioness spared 
her, and that in her subsequent danger Queen Tryphaena 
fainted. There can be no doubt that this was the cause of 
Thekla's rescue from the first, as it still is in the most 
corrupt form of the tale. It is improbable that the lioness 
was baptized by Thekla, according to the statement of 

* Le Blant, Actes, p. 247; Ainmianus, 28, i, 28: to refuse the 
cincture {siibligaculum) was ncfas adinisisse. 

404 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

Jerome.* This grotesque detail is quite incongruous with 
later views ; and is also quite as far removed from primi- 
tive simplicity as it is from later hagiographical inanity. 
It can only be treated as a fault of memory on Jerome's 
part, who remembered that Tertullian referred to it in his 
treatise on baptism^ and mixed up the baptizing with the lion. 
The precise form in which the incident was originally 
related cannot be discovered ; but the following considera- 
tions suggest themselves : — 

1. Zahn is probably right in suspecting that Ignatius refers 
to this incident when he speaks of beasts, " as they have 
done to some, refusing to touch them through fear." f 
Such an occurrence may be accepted as quite possible. 
The capricious conduct of beasts suddenly released from 
confinement and darkness, and brought into the glare of 
the arena amid the shouts of the spectators is natural ; 
and is vouched for by narratives of perfect credibility.! 
We believe, that this incident was embodied in a literary 
form early enough to be known to Ignatius. 

2. A remarkable analogy to the case of Thekla occurs 
in that of an African martyr, Marciana. A lion was sent 
against her in the arena. It sprang on her and placed its 
paws on her breast, and then, after smelling her,§ let her 

* Lipsius accepts the statement. Jerome, de vir, illustr., c. 7. 

t Zahn in Gdtti7ig. Gelehrte Anzeigen, 1877, p. 1308 ; Ignatius, 
Rom., 5. 

X See p. 312. The narrative of Tacitus, Hist., ii., 61, is specially 
appropriate. Mariccus was spared by the beasts to whom he was 
exposed, and the crowd believed that this was the effect of his divine 
power. Cp. Le Blant, Acfes, pp. 86 and 95. 

§ Acta Sanctorum, 9 Jan., p. 569. M. le Slant's reference, 
ActeSy p. 86, directed me to this document. His view with regard 
to the scene differs from mine. The lion, having licked Thekla's 
feet, might recognise her in the arena by smell. 

X l^I. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 405 

alone. Immediately afterwards a bull wounded her, and 
then a leopard killed her. This action of the lion was 
interpreted afterwards in a more miraculous sense : an old 
Spanish hymn speaks of the lion " coming to worship, not 
to devour the Virgin." * 

The tale of Marciana is unhistorical.f It contains various 
miracles of a rather absurd type. Possibly her fate in the 
arena was modelled on that of Thekla ; and perhaps the 
incident of the lion was told in Acta Thcklce originally in 
this simple and natural form, which afterwards was replaced 
by other details of a more marvellous kind, suited to the 
taste of later centuries. In this small city of an eastern 
province it is not probable that the venatio would be on 
a large scale ; probably it was given at the expense of the 
president, as was commonly the case, and as is here stated 
in Arm.^ ^y^-, and Lat. There was therefore probably 
only one lion ; and this single lion was esteemed a great 
rarity and a proof of unusual magnificence. The Syriac 
version speaks only of one lion. Bears were found in the 
mountains not far from Antioch,^ and it is quite probable 

* Adoraturus, noit co7nesturus , Virginem, where, as M. le Blant 
observes, the old odoratus has undergone only a slight change. 
The hymn is quoted in Acta Sanctorum, I.e. 

t In such a case one need not conclude that the person is a myth, 
but that details had perished, and were in demand, and were 
supplied from the analogy of other documents and general proba- 
bility. M. le Blant has shown that details, historical in one tale, 
were adopted unhistorically in others, Actes, p. 88, etc. 

X I have actually seen a bear further east in a solitary glen of 
the Anti-taurus ; and in one case among the Phrygian mountains a 
Turk professed to point out traces of a bear in a cave, and asssrted 
that bears were occasionally found. I felt far from certain that he 
was not speaking from a wish to please me, mistaking, as these 
people often do, curiosity about a point for a desire that the point 
should be of some suggested character. 

4o6 The Church in the Ro7nan Empire. 

that there was a bear in the venatio, and that the original 
intention, before a criminal turned up in the person of 
Thekla, was to exhibit a fight between the two* All 
versions of the tale mention the bear and its fight with 
the lioness. The Syriac version alone mentions a leopard. 
This is probably an addition ; and we remember that the 
Syrian Ignatius makes the earliest known reference to 
leopards,! which therefore must have been well known in 
Syria. Panthers were frequently found in Taurus at that 
time ; % and I have heard men assert that they are still 
found in the country, but have never known any person 
who had actually seen a panther there. As no reference 
occurs to a panther, we may set down the leopard as an 
addition made by the Syrian translator. The numerous 
other animals are likewise due to later exaggeration. The 
bulls alone, which were introduced as an afterthought on 
the part of Alexander, in order to tear the criminal asunder, 
perhaps belong to the original tale. Some specially shock- 
ing detail is needed as a cause for Tryphaena's fainting ; 
and this seems a device which might be easily suggested 
and acted on in real life. The preparation of this mode of 
execution so affected the Queen that she fainted. Alexander 
was terrified lest he should be considered by the Emperor, 
her relative, as guilty, if Tryphai^na suffered seriously. He 
hastened to release Thekla. The governor, who is repre- 
sented as having consented rather reluctantly to the last 

* Camel fights are now a recognised sport at festivals. A lion- 
and-bear fight is reported in Scotsman, about January 2nd, 1893. 

t Lightfoot, Igiiat.^'x., p. 412; ii., p. 212. Syrian and African 
leopards were the two species used in venatioiies by Probus, Scr, 
Hist. A7ig., xxviii., 19. 

X They are often mentioned in Cicero's letters from Asia Minor. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 407 

act of barbarity, at once pardoned her, and she returned 
home with Tryphaena. 

In the scene at Antioch few traces are found which 
imply that Thekla was known to be a Christian. The 
women sympathise with her in a most thorough and 
enthusiastic way. Her cause was theirs : what she is con- 
demned to suffer they may in ordinary course deserve. 
This is most strongly expressed in the Latin version, 
§ 32, but the Greek also has it less plainly. Such a view 
was impossible if they thought her a Christian ; they 
believed her to be a devotee, bound by some unusual 
conditions.* Only in the passage referring to Falconilla 
is Thekla's religion known to other persons. But the 
name Falconillaf shows that the passage is not original ; 
and its inconsistency with its surroundings in this feature 
confirms the inference. Moreover, the prayers for the 
soul of the deceased Falconilla have a formal and de- 
veloped tone, which suits the second century better than 
A.D. 50. 

The words of the governor's actX setting Thekla free, 
have not been left uninterpolated by later taste ; at least, 
the epithet God-fearing {Oeoae^)), Dietuenteni dominuni) is 
due to a later age, and to the desire to use this oppor- 
tunity of making the governor bear witness to the truth. 
The phrase " the servant of God," however, is probably 

* Much allowance, they might contend, ought to be made for an 
inspired servant of " the God" ; she differed from the usual type, 
but that is a matter between " the God " and herself. 

f It could not occur in the gens Antonia : it became familiar in 
Asia, when Falco was proconsul, c. 130. Sy?'. Arm. give no name. 

X F and G retain the term actum, which is correct, though the 
plural is much commoner than the singular. 

4o8 The Church in the Roiiiaii llniph'e. 

original, for, in the Latin* form ancillain dez, it is sus- 
ceptible of a sense perfectly consistent with the original 
scene. The governor knew that the women defended 
Thekla as a devotee of unusual style acting in obedience 
to the commands of " the God," who had imposed on 
her a special service ; and he therefore says, " I release 
to you Thekla, the servant of ' the God ' " — i.e., " I accept 
your explanation of her action towards Alexander as a 
ground for freeing her from punishment." 

M. Le Blant (Acles, p. 174) finds in the use of the 
correct term diinitto in the Latin version evidence that 
the scene is of early character. But it is obvious that 
the use of such a term in a translation from the Greek 
cannot be taken as evidence of anything more than the 
translator's skill. Moreover, in this case, M. Le Blant 
makes the mistake of taking Grabe's Latin rendering 
of the text of G for the old Latin version. Grabe uses 
a formula which M. Le Blant considers to be strikingly 
accurate ; but the old Latin version is far looser and 
freer in its expression. This is one of the cases in 
which G has preserved the original form better than 
the Latin version. The ease with which Grabe renders 
it into a Latin phrase that has deceived M. Le Blant, 
shows that the Greek is a literal translation of the Latin 

* The proceedings were of course in Latin, except where evidence 
had to be taken in Greek ; and the original actic7n was couched in 
Latin. There can be no doubt that Lipsius has been led astray by 
his false view as to the excellence of E, when he prefers its text, 
X/ywi/, to that of F and G, ypa-^a^ ovtcos. The rule was that the 
sentence must be written out first, and then recited from the document. 
See Le Blant, Actes, pp. 168, 176. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 409 

7. The Original Tale of Thekla. 

Starting from the arguments advanced in the preceding 
sections, we must next try to determine the chief features 
of the original tale, selecting those incidents which are 
inexplicable except as having been written in the first 
century, and adding to them others which are needed 
to connect and complete them, and which bear obvious 
marks of high antiquity. It would be best to try to 
preserve the original language as far as possible ; but 
this attempt would involve a minute study of the text 
and comparison of the various versions and manuscripts. 
Perhaps it would prove an impossible task, owing to the 
great changes that have been introduced during later ages ; 
but even the attempt is precluded to one who has not 
access to more materials than I have before me.* A brief 
outline is all that can now be ventured on. 

When Paul was expelled from Antioch, a citizen of 
Iconium, a just man (Onesiphorusf) was warned (in a 
dreamt) that Paul was about to come to that city, .and 
was told where he should find him, and how he should 
recognise him. He went forth to the place where the 
roads met, and watched those who were passing by along 
the Royal Road that leads to Lystra, tmtil he saw Paul 
approach, and recognised his appearance (see p. 31). Paul 
returned with Onesiphorus, lived in his house, and declared 
the word of God. Meetings were held in the house, with 
bending of the knees and breaking of bread. 

* On the text see the note at the end of this chapter. 

t The name Onesiphorus was introduced in the second century. 
See next section. 

X Perhaps the warning was originally given in a dream. The 
name of Titus is certainly a later addition. See next section. 

4IO The Church in tJie Ro^nan Empire. 

A noble Iconian family, rich and influential, lived in 
an adjoining house. A chamber in an upper story of this 
house overlooked the humbler home of Onesiphorus ; and 
Thekla, to whom this chamber belonged, could thus easily 
hear Paul's teaching. She was fascinated ; and her mind 
was alienated from her ordinary pursuits, from her family, 
and from her affianced husband Thamyris. This soon 
became obvious, and drew on Paul the enmity of the two 
powerful families of Thamyris and Thekla. Paul was, at 
their instigation, imprisoned by the magistrates, the charge 
against him being that he had influenced the minds of 
women by magical arts, and caused disorders in the 

At night Thekla bribed the porter with her bracelets 
to let her go out of the house. She went to the prison, 
and, by giving the gaoler a silver mirror, induced him to 
allow her access to Paul. She was instructed by him 
throughout the night, and was found there next morning' 
in the way already described. Paul was then scourged 
and expelled from the city by the magistrates, the severest 
penalty within their competence. Thekla was taken to her 
own home ; and it was hoped that in course of time she 
would recover her reason, and be free from the influence 
of the magician who had bewitched her. Some interval 
elapsed,* during which her family used persuasion and 

* It is clear that the course of events required some time, because 
the interpolator of the Myra episode was under the impression 
that several years elapsed ; and when he wished to bring about a 
subsequent meeting with Paul he thought it necessary to put the 
meeting at a late period. He must, however, have exaggerated 
the lapse of time, as all the events belong to the reign of Claudius. 
The homily attributed to Chrysostom is the authority at this point. 

XVI. The Acta of Paid and The k la. 411 

moral influence : her parents, lover, relatives, and attend- 
ants tried all their arts to bring her back to her old 
ways, but in vain. She could think only of Paul. 

They then resorted to more severe measures. One of 
their means was to bring her before a tribunal of the city, 
in which the judges {dikastai) threatened her with severe 
penalties. Thckla at last escaped (or was allowed to 
escape), and was pursued by Thamyris ; and presumably 
it was believed that, if he once forced her to his will, she 
would thereafter be under his influence, and freed from that 
of Paul. She fled into the bare level plains that stretch 
away from Iconium on all sides except the west. 
Thamyris overtook her : there seemed no escape from 
his violence : she prayed, and was saved in some way 

Thekla, trying to find Paul, finally came to Antioch. 
As she entered the city, she was accosted by (Alexander)* 
the high-priest, president of the festival which was just 
beginning. In order to give dignity to this festival, which 
was of an official character, and formed part of the Roman 
plan for consolidating the province and strengthening the 
feeling of loyalty in it, the governor of Galatia had come 
on a visit to Antioch ; and all the most influential and 
wealthy citizens of the southern parts of the province had 
come to pay their respects to him.f Alexander, struck 
with the beauty of this young woman, whose appearance, 

* The name was introduced, perhaps, in the second century. 

t The statue of Concord, presented by Lystra to Antioch, may 
have been given on some such occasion as this. (See p. 50.) Dio 
Chrysostom's description of the crowds at Apameia, when the 
Roman proconsul of Asia came to hold the co?iventus, may be read 
in illustration of this description. See his Apameian oration. 

412 ' The Chu7^cJi in the Ro7nan Empire. 

unescorted, in the street seemed to indicate her status out- 
side of the pale of respectability, accosted and kissed her. 
Thekla repelled his advances, appealing to the right of a 
stranger and guest, noble in her own city, and engaged in 
the service of " the God " ; and on his continued impor- 
tunity, she tore his outer garment {cJilamys), and pulled 
from his head the crown that marked him as priest of the 
Emperor. He ordered his attendants, who were of course 
numerous, to arrest her. She called on Paul to help her. 

Being brought before the Roman governor straight from 
the scene of the offence, she was judged forthwith at the 
festival in view of all the spectators. The charge was 
sacrilege, in that she had assaulted the high-priest while 
wearing his sacred official dress. The offence being proved 
by the admission of the accused, she was condemned to be 
exposed to the wild beasts, which the president was going 
to exhibit on one of the later days of the festival. Much 
feeling was aroused in the city ; and the women especially 
took the part of Thekla, as being in the service of " the 
God," and carrying out the conditions imposed on her by 
his commands. Thekla was permitted to continue to 
observe the rule of purity ; and, through the general sym- 
pathy, the noblest lady in the assembly. Queen Trypha,^na, 
became guarantee for her appearance when required, and 
took her meantime to her own house. On the day of the 
procession with which the games in the stadium opened, 
Thekla was placed on the top of a cage, in which was 
confined the chief ornament of the exhibition, a lioness. 
The lioness licked her feet, protruding its tongue between 
the bars. After the procession Thekla returned to Try- 
phaena's charge to spend her last night. 

During the night Trypha^na, whose sympathies had been 

XVl\ The Acta of Paul and The k la. 413 

already strongly excited in defence of the young woman, 
was still further moved in her favour by a dream, in 
which her own deceased daughter directed her to receive 
Thekla as a new daughter.* In the morning Tryphaena 
refused to give up Thekla to her fate, until the appearance 
of soldiers sent by the governor showed her that it was 
vain to resist. She then led Thekla by the hand to the 
stadium, escorted by her numerous train of attendants. 
The feeling of the crowd had in part changed, and many 
were eager for the spectacle. But the women were still 
true to Thekla, and loudly upbraided the governor, sar- 
castically bidding him slay them all. 

In the arena Thekla, wearing only the cincture, accord- 
ing to the Roman practice at such executions, was bound 
to a stake.f She prayed, saying, " My Lord and my God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, Thou art the 
helper of the persecuted, and Thou art the companion of 
the poor ; behold Thy handmaiden, for lo, the shame of 
women is uncovered in me, and I stand in the midst of all 
this people. My Lord and my God, remember Thy hand- 
maiden in this hour." 

In the venatio, which followed, the lioness, which had 
already become acquainted with Thekla, recognised her 
(perhaps by smelling, as in the case of Marciana) and did 
her no harm When a bear was introduced, the lioness 
fought with it. Alexander then suggested that Thekla 
should be fastened to bulls and thus torn asunder, and the 

* The incident was greatly elaborated in the growth of the tale ; 
but something of the kind seems required to explain the action. 

t This, as M. Le Blant has shown, was the regular practice. 
Some of the additions to the scene are inconsistent with this, which 
constitutes an additional argument against them. 

4T4 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

governor reluctantly consented. As the preparations were 
being completed Tryphaena fainted away from horror. 

Then followed the release of Thekla, as already related. 
She returned home with Tryphaena, lived as her daughter, 
and converted her and her household. 

These incidents, in their simple and vivid character, take 
us back to the age of Claudius, or the earlier part of Nero's 
reign ; and they are so true to the circumstances of that 
period, that they could not possibly hav^e been constructed 
in an age when Christianity had come to be a proof of 
disloyalty, and the old procedure was forgotten. We are 
carried back to the first century, and to a writer who 
remembered at least the local surroundings (see p. 31 ff.), 
the actual characters (Paul's appearance, Tryphaena), and 
the species of charges made about A.D. 50-64. Finally, we 
consider that the easiest supposition is that Thekla was 
a real person, and her actual fortunes were related by the 
original author, with perhaps a certain amount of selection 
and idealisation. Like Zahn, we should find no chrono- 
lo^cal difficulty in accepting Jerome's statement that the 
original author, a presbyter of Asia, was degraded from 
his office by St. John. The statement is quite a possible 
one ; but it rests on too poor authority to be accepted, for 
Jerome quotes from TertuUian, and TertuUian does not 
name John. Now it is plain that Jerome's words are at 
least partly taken from the extant passage of TertuUian ; 
and, unless some further support can be found, we must 
treat what he adds to TertuUian as void i f authority 
(see also p. 403/). 

The question naturally suggests itself, — Why was the 
author of this tale degraded from his office? We might 
explain it, partly because he represented the action of Paul 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 415 

ds causing a disturbance of family life and family ties 
which the Church in early times discouraged (sec pp. 246, 
282), and partly on the hypothesis that some points in 
his teaching were considered to be dangerous, and were 
subsequently eliminated, and cannot be recovered. More- 
over, there remain even in the mutilated and re-written 
tale some traces of a view of women's rights and position, 
which is thoroughly characteristic of the Asian social 
system, and thoroughly opposed to the ideas favoured by 
the Church (see p. 161 f.). But I believe the answer lies 
in another direction. This original edition is not the one 
alluded to by TertuUian. It is not written by a native 
of Asia, but is native to Galatic Phrygia, where the scene 
iies, and redolent of the soil from which it sprang. It is 
an old tale about Thekla, in which Paul appears only for 
a brief space at the beginning of the action, and from 
which a presbyter of Asia, as TertuUian says, constructed 
the document popularly known and appealed to by some 
as an authority in his time. TertuUian was clearly aware 
that this presbyter was not the original author. He does 
not say that he composed the tale, but that he constructed 
it from previously existing material.* The material con- 
sisted of the tale which has just been given, and additions 
were made by the presbyter. 

* This statement of TertuUian {de Baptismo, 17) "... earn 
scripturam construxU, quasi tihilo Pauli de suo cumulans,'^ 
has been singularly misinterpreted by some writers on the subject. 
It implies additions made by the presbyter from his own store to a 
document, the result being that he " augmented it with the title 
of Paul." His additions were from "love of Paul," and greatly 
increased the part played by Paul in the action. Such seems the 
plain inference from Tertullian's words. 

4i6 The CJmrch in the Roman Empire, 

8. Revision of the Tale of Thekla, a.d. 130-150. 

About A.D. 130, or soon after, the tale of Thekla was 
enlarged by a reviser * who accepted it as true, and wished 
to connect it with the incidents and personages recorded 
in Acts and the Epistles of Paul. This person had never 
seen either Antioch or Iconium, but probably lived in 
the province of Asia ; and the country from Thyatira to 
Troas best suits the conditions prescribed by the follow- 
ing view of his action. He belonged to the Church in the 
period before the differences which led to the Montanist 
quarrels began. Hence we find in the work, as he left it, 
no references to the questions that developed soon after 
A.D. 1 50 ; t but its tone is that of the conditions amid 
which Montanism grew. 

This reviser introduced into the tale the teaching, which, 
while of a strongly ascetic tendency, never actually goes 
so far as actual disapproval of marriage, but which might 
readily be pushed to that extreme. Abstaining from wine 
and flesh is implicitly recommended ; for Paul's food, § 25, 
consists only of bread, herbs, water, and salt (the last only 
in the Syriac version). Lipsius, pp. 448-57, has discussed 
these indications carefully, though his conclusions are 
different. These views are not expressed in a way so 
extreme as to have been expelled by later revisers, but 
belong to a simpler period of thought, when a Catholic 
writer indulged in an " extravagance of statement " that 
has almost a " heretical aspect." % " Such skill as the 

* For brevity's sake I state opinions dogmatically, and without 

t Zahn puts this clearly and well, Gott. Gel. A?iz., 1877, p. 1305. 

X So Dr. Gwynn, p. 891, following Dr. Salmon, Introduction to 
New Testame?tt, 2nd ed., p. 420. 

XVI. The Acta of Paid and T/iekla. 417 

writer possessed appears chiefly in the ingenuity with 
which he works in genuine PauHne phrases, all of them 
in some degree turned from their proper bent."* 

Demas and Hermogenes belong to this period. Their 
action in Iconium is an anachronism ; but, as M. Le Blant 
shows (AcUs, p. 97), does not belong to a late period. Their 
appearance in § i is inconsistent with § 3, where Paul 
seems to advance alone towards Onesiphorus. They be- 
long to a series of interpolations, intended to connect Acta 
Theklce with circumstances and personages mentioned in 
2 Tim. Demas " forsook Paul, having loved this present 
world " (iv. 10) ; and Hermogenes " turned away from " 
him (i. 15). The name of Paul's host at Iconium, Onesi- 
phorus, was also introduced at this time, being suggested 
by the words, '* the house of Onesiphorus, for he oft 
refreshed me" (i. 16, cp .iv. 19). Probably the host bore 
in the original tale a native, non-Greek, name, like 
Thekla.f As Lipsius has remarked, the allusion to Paul's 
sufferings at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, in 2 Tim. iii. 11, 
probably directed the reviser's attention to that Epistle, 
when he was seeking to connect a tale whose scene lay in 
these towns with Paul's own words. Moreover, as Timothy 
was a native of Lystra, it seemed to the reviser natural 
that the characters of the tale should be mentioned by 
Paul in writing to him. The reviser also found in the 
same Epistle an allusion to a coppersmith (which he used 
in § i), and to Titus as travelling apart from Paul (which 
made him introduce Titus as describing Paul to Onesi- 
phorus in § 2). 

* Gwynn, p. 890. 

t The name of Onesiphorus' wife and of one son seem also to be 
non-Greek ; but they have been much corrupted in the MSS. 


41 8 The Church in the Roman E7npire. 

In the original tale Paul played too slight a part, and 
this the reviser corrected. He introduced the residence of 
Onesiphorus and his family with Paul in the tomb on the 
road to Antioch,* praying for Thekla's deliverance, and 
the journey of Thekla to Myra for a last meeting with 

Part of the scene in the tomb, with its ascetic diet, is 
distinctly of this period. M. Le Blant has argued also that 
the residence in a grave by the roadside is a sign of early 
date {Actes, p. 269) ; and he illustrates this detail by 
similar real events. The second century is the date to 
which M. Le Blant inclines on p. 97. (But see p. 426.) 

The journey to Myra is due to the desire for a final 
recognition of Thekla's faith by the Apostle. It was intro- 
duced by one who had a certain acquaintance with the 
topography of Asia Minor, and who selected the nearest 
point on the south coast visited by Paul. This was Myra 
according to the text of Acts xxvi. 30, as preserved in 
Codex Bez(E.\ But this person cannot have had any 
personal acquaintance with Antioch ; for he evidently 
imagined that the journey to Myra from Antioch was quite 
a short one.+ Such imperfect knowledge of the topo- 
graphy implies that he belonged to a district out of direct 

* Daphne was substituted when the Syrian Antioch was intro- 

t See p. 155. In one Latin version, D, the more famihar name 
Smyrna is substituted for the unknown Myra by a translator ignorant 
of Asia Minor, and of the very name of Myra. 

X This we see because (i) Paul's stay at Myra could not be long, 
and there was no time for news of his arrival to spread far, and for 
Thekla to go to him ; (2) Tryphaena heard that Thekla was going 
from Myra to Iconium, and sent offering her gifts. Both considera- 
tions imply rapid communication between the two places. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 419 

communication with Antioch, such as Mysia or the Troad ; 
and that Myra and Antioch were vaguely known to him 
as distant cities, one on the south coast, and the other 
connected by road with the same coast. 

The Myra episode has several marks of early character. 
M. le Blant quotes from M. Heuzey * the explanation of the 
alteration which Thekla made in her dress. By a change 
in the arrangement of her tunic at the girdle, and by some 
use of the needle, she so transformed it, that it passed for 
a man's tunic.j This description, so brief yet so particular, 
was perfectly clear in the second century to readers familiar 
with the old Greek dress ; but it was unintelligible to 
persons living in a later period, when the style of dress had 
changed. We can now understand it by an effort of 
archaeological imagination. Thekla wore the woman's 
long tunic, reaching to the feet and confined by a girdle 
round the waist. Ordinarily, when a woman wished to 
take active exercise, she took hold of the tunic above the 
girdle, and pulled it up, so that it formed a wide loose fold, 
which hung down over the girdle round her body, and 
which she usually confined by a second girdle ; thus the 
tunic, even though as short as a man's, still continued dis- 
tinguishable as a feminine garment. Thekla, instead of 
allowing the fold to hang down outside, kept it inside, so 
that it was unseen ; and she sewed the tunic together in 
this position, thus shortening it by a broad " tuck." Her 
girdle would conceal the seam, and the garment would 
resemble a man's short tunic. The description was evi- 
dently quite unintelligible to the Latin translators. 

It is also clear that the Myra episode was inserted before 

* Actes des Martyrs, p. 322. 

+ dva^Qxrajjievi] re Kid ^(v^acra tov yiTutva els enevdvrov (ryjuxa avSpiKov. 

420 The Church in the Roman Empiric, 

the confusion with the Syrian Antioch had been caused ; 
for it would be absurd to make Thekla go from the Syrian 
Antioch to Myra to meet Paul. 

The reviser evidently connected the tale with Paul's third 
journey. His reasoning, apparently, was that the action 
could not be conceived as taking place at Paul's first visit 
to Iconium, for he disappears from the action so quickly ; 
whereas Paul remained in the country, and soon returned 
to Iconium after his first expulsion or flight from it. More- 
over, neither Barnabas nor Timothy, Paul's companions on 
his first two journeys, played any part in the tale ; and the 
reviser could imagine that unimportant characters should 
be omitted, but not important personages like these. On 
the third journey nothing is recorded in Acts about Paul's 
actions in the district ; and there was therefore a suitable 
gap in which to introduce the tale of Thekla. Allowing 
a fair interval to elapse, he found that, by the time Thekla 
was victorious over all her trials, Paul might have arrived 
at Myra on his way to Jerusalem. 

The reviser showed some skill in connecting the tale 
of Thekla with the record of Paul's life ; and in the case 
of Titus this is conspicuous. The argument has often 
been advanced that Titus is spoken of in Gal. ii. i as 
if he were familiar to the Galatians. The presbyter ap- 
parently believed that Titus (who, as appears from Acts, 
did not travel along with Paul on the third journey) 
went before him through Iconium to Corinth, whence he 
returned to meet Paul in Macedonia (2 Cor. ii. I3» 
vii. 6). 

The name of Falconilla was perhaps introduced now 
(see p. 407), and the scene in the stadium at Antioch was 
modified in some details. The self-baptism of Thekla is 

XVI. The Acta of Pattl and Thekla. 421 

inconsistent with her being fastened to the stake, which 
was probably the original attitude ; and the cloud that 
veiled Thekla was probably inserted at the same time. The 
references to baptism may probably all be taken as inser- 
tions of this period, except that in § 25 (p. 422). 

The attitude assumed by Thekla, both in the theatre at 
Iconium and in the stadium at Antioch, was with hands 
outstretched in the attitude of crucifixion. M. le Blant 
{Actes^ p. 297) quotes various passages, showing that this 
attitude was common for martyrs and for persons praying.* 
But the custom seems to belong to the second and later 
centuries, and the statements about Thekla's attitude 
(which vary greatly in different MSS.) must be all con- 
sidered interpolations, probably of this period. 

Lipsius quotes a number of characteristics which prove 
that the Acta belong to a date not later than A.D. 190. 
These seem to me to fall into two classes : (i) those which are 
consistent with a first century date — e.g., the simple formula 
of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (§ 34), the simple 
forms of worship (bending the knee, breaking of bread, 
declaring the word of God, § 5), the meeting in private 
houses (§§ 5, 7). (2) Those which rather point to the second 
century, or at least a period of more developed forms than 
the middle of the first century — e.g., prayers for the heathen 
dead (§ 29), designation of baptism as *' the seal " (§ 25), the 
conception of baptism as a safeguard against temptation 
(§§ 25, 40). It will be found that the division to which 
the investigation has led us independently, corresponds 
well with this evidence. 

* The Christians would not pray in the heathen attitude, ^almas 
ad ccBluni tendentes. Tertullian, de Orat., 17, says the Christians, 
from a feeling of humility, did not raise their hands high. 

42 2 The Chttrch in the Roman Empire. 

M. le Blant's chapter (Actes, p. 80) on the method of 
interpolation of some hagiographical documents is most 
instructive in regard to the history of the Acta, and he 
gives some striking examples of the way in which old texts 
were worked over, additions being made in some places 
and complete changes in others (the changes being some- 
times almost motiveless in their inanity, sometimes con- 
ditioned by a distinct purpose). 

The author of this revised edition may be identified as the 
Asian presbyter said by Tertullian to have constructed the 
document by adding to older material. His date is deter- 
mined both by internal evidence (i, character of the 
teaching of Paul, already described ; 2, he still seems to 
consider Antioch and Iconium as in the same province), 
and by inference from Tertullian, who implies that the 
work was known and quoted as an authority and not as a 
work of yesterday. It seems hard to think that Tertullian 
could have written as he did, if the work had not been 
" constructed " at least twenty-five or thirty years pre- 
viously — ie., the revision was older than 165 or 170. 

We gladly acquit the presbyter of making Paul go with 
Thekla to Antioch and play the disgraceful part assigned 
to him there ; for this episode is necessarily connected with 
the trial and attempted burning of Thekla, and is incon- 
sistent with the flight of Thekla to the wilderness. More- 
over, when Thekla asked for baptism, there was at this 
stage of the growth of the legend no reason why it should 
be refused ; whereas at a later stage it must be refused in 
order to preserve the self-baptism at Antioch. Again, the 
presbyter did not object to Thekla's dressing like a man ; 
but the composer of her interview with Paul did evidently 
object to it, and makes Paul formally express disapproval 


XVI. The Acta of Paul and The k la. 42 

of it. In the presbyter's revision, then, Paul, after fasting 
and praying for Thekla's deliverance, went on to Antioch 
and Ephesus (see chap. v.). 

9. The Iconian Legend of Thekla. 

About A.D. 137-160 Lycaonia was united with Cilicia 
and Isauria, and the "three Eparchies" were governed 
by an official of consular rank. Iconium was henceforth 
a city of higher dignity, metropolis of an eparchy, and 
a colony. As it was now completely separated from 
Antioch, the situation implied in the tale of Thekla was 
no longer suitable to existing conditions. Moreover, when 
Christianity became the strongest element in the city, the 
close union between the Christians and their co-religionists 
in other towns was replaced by a certain emotion of 
municipal patriotism and a feeling of distinction from 
other cities. Thekla was the heroine of Iconium, and it 
seemed right that the city should be signalised as the 
scene of her triumph, and it had more right to the presence 
of a Roman governor than Antioch, which was not a 
metropolis. Thus an Iconian legend grew up, and was 
finally incorporated in the tale, to the effect that Thekla 
was tried, condemned by the governor to the flames, and 
miraculously rescued. This legend involved the dropping 
out of the older tale of Thekla's sufferings and flight. The 
meeting with Paul in the tomb and journey with him to 
Antioch were substituted for the episode in the wilderness. 

It is clear, however, that the scene in the theatre de- 
veloped separately from the meeting with Paul. These 
were two independent floating legends, which were awk- 
wardly put side by side in the text without being 

424 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

properly worked into one another. The literary form of 
these additions is defective ; and they show a vulgarity 
of conception and poverty in creative power which places 
them below the work of the presbyter. 

The Iconian legend was familiar to Gregory of Nyssa, 
and other writers of the fourth century ; * and appears even 
to be older than A.D. 300, to judge from the account given 
by Dr. Gwynn of the evidence of Methodius, t Probably 
there were for a time copies of both the presbyter's and 
the Iconian revision in circulation ; but the latter soon 
prevailed, for the deliverance from fire was too striking 
a detail to be omitted. 

A general revision of the text, with slight modifications, 
additions, and modernisations, also continued to be made 
as time went on. A proof of this appears in the title 
proconsuly which is applied in most MSS. to the governors. 
Now there never was a time when a proconsul was resident 
at Iconium or Antioch, or was governor of the province 
in which either city was situated. We often find ana- 
chronisms in the way of giving to an officer a title 
appropriate to the period in which the writer lived, but 
inappropriate to that in which his scene lay ; here the 
anachronism cannot be explained in that way. Dr. 
Gwynn suggests that a writer, who lived in Asia before 
A.D. 190, named the governor of Galatia proconsul, 
" because he had himself been accustomed to see a pro- 

* The Iconian revision was unknown to the author of the 
Homily attributed to Chrysostom ; but the date of the Homily is 
not known. 

t I have not access to his dialogue de angelica virgifiilale et 
castitate. Photius is said to declare that the work had been 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 425 

consul at Ephesus or Smyrna." * But no parallel is known 
at that period, for titles are generally given very accurately 
in documents of the second century ; and such accuracy 
is usually taken as a test of date. The title proconsul is 
found in a very uncertain way in the MSS.,t and has 
probably crept gradually into the text, after the meaning 
and distinction of the Roman titles had been forgotten, 
through a process of ignorant archaising under the influ- 
ence of other old Acta^ in which the title was rightly used. 
Apparently the false title was first introduced in speeches 
addressed to the governor, and gradually spread to some 
other cases ; and it is far more generally used in the 
late Iconian narrative than in the old Antiochian scene. 
If, as is not improbable, the Latin text c, in which the 
title is often used, was of African origin, the writer would 
be familiar with similar tales in which proconsuls were 

M. Le Blant (Actcs, p. 109) points out that the governor 

* Diet. Chr. Biogr., iv., p. 893 4, where he has not noticed that 
at the period in question Antioch and Iconium were in separate 
provinces. See above, p. iii. 

t The correct titles, Hegemon^ Presses , are commoner in the MSS. 
In the scene at Antioch one of the Latin MSS., D, uses oviXy prceses, 
while another, c, uses proconsul very often, and the third, 7n, 
occasionally. In the same scene the term proconsul occurs only 
once in the Greek MSS., which have it frequently in the Iconian 
scene. Again, we find cases where the \a\\q proconsul OQcnxs only 
in the poorer Greek MSS., while the better have hegemon — e.g., 
§ 16, 1. 6, where two MSS., F and G, read hegemon with the 
Syriac version, while all Lipsius' other MSS. have proconsul. 
Lipsius includes the Latin MSS in this latter class, but D has 
prceses. Moreover, procojtstil in the Greek MSS. is rarely used, 
except in the vocative, in which it is least likely to belong to the 
original text, and most likely to be a later insertion. Basil uses 
proconsul at Iconium, hegemon at Antioch, 

426 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

at Iconlum was assisted by a council. Such assessors are 
a well-known feature of Roman procedure (pp. 223-28). 
Undoubtedly accuracy in such points is a proof of good 
character in a tale ; but the Iconian reviser was quite 
as likely as the Asian presbyter to introduce the procedure 
by assessors {consiliunt)^ which was in regular use at the 
time when he was writing. 

In subsequent history, the worship of Thekla as a saint 
became established widely in Asia Minor ; first of all in 
the southern parts, and especially in Seleuceia of Isauria. 
There grew up at each shrine, doubtless, a foundation 
legend (/epo? X0709),* and such legends found their way 
into the text. In this way Thekla was made to travel to 
Seleuceia, and to pass through various adventures there. 
In some MSS. she is even described as going to Rome 
and dying there. But we need not enter on these Seleucian 
and later developments, nor touch on the statements about 
her age, which are devoid of authority. 

Note i. — A (391, 426). — Arm. and Syr. do not mention Daphne, 
nor style Alexander Syriarch. Arm. says that he " had done great 
deeds in Antioch, and was a leading man " (p. 396). He wears, in 
Syr. and also in Arm.., " a crown of the figure of Caesar," or " of 
Caesar." This appears to imply a sacerdotal function in the cultus 
of the Emperors, thus corroborating the view taken in the text ; for 
though I know no precise proof that such a priest wore the crown 
(corona querna ?), yet the analogy of almost all other religions would 
suggest that he did so. The fact that Syr. does not make the Syrian 
Antioch the scene is strong evidence in favour of the Pisidian 
Antioch, and proves that that version was made before the time of 
Basil, and probably as early as A.D. 400. 

* Any one who wishes to study the formation of such legends in 
the country should go to Sasima in Cappadocia, now called Hassa 
Keui, and ask the priest to tell the story of the foundation of the 
village church by St. Makrina, to whom it is dedicated. 

XVI. The Acta of Paul and Thekla. 427 

B (391). — This fictitious governor, resident at Iconium, is sup- 
posed by Gutschmid to be historical, and his name to be really 
Caesellius {Rhem. Altis., 1864, p. .;^97) ; and this impossible sug- 
gestion (no officer Caesellius is known about A.D. 50) has been 
quoted on a par with his brilliant identification of Tryphaena. The 
form Castelius is as old as Basil ; but the Latin variant Sextilius 
points perhaps to Statilius as the original form, Ar?n. does not 
mention a Roman official at Iconium, but only a dikastes (cp. 
Pseudo-Chrysostom, quoted p. 393 f). In Syr. the governor Castelus 
has been interpolated, doubtless under the influence of the late Greek 
legend: the interpolation must date soon after 450, the oldest MS. 
belongs to the sixth century. 

C (pp- 392, 395). Thekla, praying in Onesiphorus's house after 
her return to Iconium, mentions the burning in Syr. but not in Arm. 
The latter perhaps retains here a trace of a very early form. 

D (p. 395). — Arm. mentions, not a grave, but the "house of a 
young man of which the opened door looks towards the road to (or 
of) Iconium." Syr.^ Lat., Gr., speak of a grave. 

Note 2. Family of Antonia Tryph^na, Queen-Consort in 
Thrace, Queen of Pontus (Mommsen, Eph. Ep. II. p. 259ff. :— 

Antonia. =f=Marcus Antonius Triumvir,=j=Octavia, 

I sister of Augustus. 

Zenon Pythodoros=f=Antonia. Antonia.=j=Nero Drusus. 

of Laodiceia. ofTralles. I I 

I r— ^ r -^ -1 

Polemon.(i)=pPythodoris.(2) CLAUDIUS, Germanicus 

I Emperor, a.d. 41-54. I 

•-1 ^ n ^ n 

Cotys, =y=TRYPH^NA, Polemon, ?(3) Zenon, ('4) Caligula, 

King of Thrace, 
d. before A.D. 19, 

born B.C. 8, or dynast of Olba. King of Armenia Emperor, 

earlier. Major, a.d. 18-35. a.d. 37-41. 


1 1 

Rhoemetalces,(5) Polemon, (6) Cotys, (7) 

King of Thrace, A.D. 37-46. King of Pontus. King of Armenia Minor, 

a.d. 37-? 

(i) Polemon Eusebes was made King of Lycaonia and perhaps part 
of Cilicia in 39 B.C. ; but this territory, soon afterwards, was seized 
by Amyntas. Polemon became King of Pontus 38 or 37, King of 
Armenia Minor Tf2)f ^^ri^ King of Bosporus 14. He died about 8 B.C. 
(2) Pythodoris, born about 33, married King Polemon B.C. 13 or 12, 
and reigned as Queen of Pontus after his death till some unknown 
date after A.D. 21. (3) The eldest son of Polemon and Pythodoris 
was probably M. Antonius Polemon ; but Strabo (p. 556) does not 

428 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

mention his name. He aided his mother in governing Pontus with- 
out the title of king ; and, soon after the death of Archelaus in 
17 A.D., he became dynast of Olba. In the passage of Strabo the 
words hvva<TT(vii S' 67rpfo-^uT[fp]os avrwv are to be taken as a subsequent 
addition made by the writer to the following line. He wrote 
originally awbioiKel, and altered it to (rvvbL<oK€i, when the change 
occurred ; the words dwaareveL k.t.X. have got into the wrong place, 
and are incorrectly applied to the son of Tryphsena. The sense is 
"of the sons of Pythodoris one used to govern along with his 
mother without regal title, and is now a dynast — viz., the older of 
them." Polemon ruled at least eleven years at Olba, as we learn 
from coins.* (4) M. Antonius Zenon was no doubt his full name. 
(5-7) The brothers were taken to Rome on the death of their father, 
and educated there along with the young Caligula. Tiberius was 
too jealous to allow them to reign. Caligula, as soon as he came 
to the throne, made them all kings, A.D. ^"j. (6) Polemon became 
King of Pontus and Bosporus ;^y, lost Bosporus and received Olba in 
exchange 41, lost Pontus 63, died probably before 72. 

Note 3. Text. — Lipsius, Proleg.^ p. cv, justly praises the Syriac 
version as retaining much that the Greek MSS. have lost or altered, 
and as often approaching more closely than they do to the arche- 
type. Among the three Latin MSS. he assigns the first rank to c, 
as approaching nearest in character to E, to which he attributes a 
similar rank among the Greek MSS., and he puts m second in point 
of excellence. It is difficult to judge about the Latin texts, for the 
plan followed by Lipsius often leads him to omit variants. But, so 
far as I can judge from using D, it retains some original features 
which are not quoted by Lipsius from m and c. Occasionally, how- 
ever, the latter are preferable to D ; and they seem to be inde- 
pendently translated from the Greek, but perhaps at a little later 
date, and therefore they approximate more closely to the Greek. 
Schlau believes that D may represent a translation of the second 
century (Zahn, Gott. Gel. Anz., 1877, p. 1293); but its Latinity is 
rather of the fifth than the second journey. There was probably no 
Latin version till after Jerome's time, when Thekla's worship had 
spread to the west. The vSyriac version seems earlier than the 
Latin ; one of the MSS. belongs to the sixth century. Among the 
Greek MSS., G, F, and M show archaic touches lost in the others. 

* This account of Trypha^na's brother is a hypothetical addition. 
He died certainly before 41. 



TJ7£ CHURCH FROM 120 TO 170 A.D. 

WE have seen that, before the end of the first century, 
there was, as a rule, an individual episkopos in 
each community, who tended, in fact, to be permanent, 
but who possessed no official rank except as a presbyteros. 
It may be argued that the account we have given of his 
position is inconsistent and self-contradictory. We acknow- 
ledge that this is so ; but this does not prove it to be untrue. 
The office was in process of rapid growth, and no account 
of it can be true which makes it logical and self-consistent 
in character. It had vast potentiality, for the whole future 
of the Church was latent in it ; yet, in its outward appear- 
ance and its relation to the past, it was humble, and the 
episkopos was merely a presbyter in special circumstances.* 
His actual influence depended on his personal character. 
The order of prophets still existed ; but, to take an 
example, what influence was any prophet likely to have 
in Smyrna except with Polycarp's approval ? But if the 
idea had been possible in Smyrna that Polycarp's action 
was guided to the faintest degree by thought of self, 
his influence would never have existed. His personal 

* If the view we have taken is correct, the question whether an 
episkopos exercised any teaching or religious duties shows a mis- 
apprehension of the situation. The episkopos may do anything that 
a presbyter may do, for he is a presbyter. He may be a prophet and 
speak with inspiration, for inspiration may come to all. 


430 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

influence, however, was undoubtedly increased by the 
important administrative duties which he performed as 
episkopos ; and, in all probability, his position in Smyrna 
did much to impress on the mind of his contemporaries 
in general, and of Ignatius in particular, a new conception 
of the episcopal office. Yet, even after his death, the letter 
to the church at Philomelion, written, as we must under- 
stand, by \hQ. episkopos v^\vo succeeded him, is couched in 
the old style. The writer is merely the impersonal mouth- 
piece of the community at Smyrna. 

An important step was made when the Christian com- 
munities began to accommodate themselves to Roman law 
by enrolling themselves as Benefit Clubs. That this step 
had been taken by the third century is certain in a con- 
siderable number of cases, and may safely be assumed as 
general.* As to the time when the custom began no evi- 
dence remains ; but I see no reason why it should not have 
begun as early as Hadrian's reign, simultaneously with the 
outburst of Apologetic literature and the general rapproche- 
ment between the Church and the Empire, A.D. 130-40.! 

* Le Blant, Actes, pp. 282, 288; De Rossi, Roma Sotterr., ii., 
p. 82 ; and my papers in Expository December 1888, February 1889. 
Hatch, Bampton Lectures, p. 152, collects the facts well, but 
states them without sufficient legal precision. The right of forming 
associations, provided these were not in themselves illegal, belonged 
theoretically to all except soldiers ; but practically almost all as- 
sociations were illegal. The exception in the case of poor persons, 
chiefly for purposes of burial, came to be important under Hadrian, 
Digest. 47, 22 ; C. I. Z., xiv., 2112. The technical name is collegia 
tenuiorufriy oi funeraticia, p. 359i'2. 

t In 1882 {jfournal of Helleiiic Studies, p. 347), unaware of the 
bearings of the case, I tried to prove that a benefaction to the poor, 
mentioned in the fourth-century legend of Avircius Marcellus as 
taking place in Hieropolis of Phrygia, and beginning as eariy as 
the second century, was historical. 

XVII. The C/mrc/i from \ 20 to ijo A.D, 431 

The general development of such collegia over the Empire 
was quite in accordance with Hadrian's broad views and 
his superiority to the narrow Roman idea. 

Christian communities, registered as collegia tenniorum, 
held property. The collegium had to be registered in the 
name of some individual, who acted as its head and repre- 
sentative, and who held the property that belonged to it. 
We can hardly doubt that the episkopos was the represen- 
tative of the collegium, for he already acted as representative 
of the community in its relation to others. About 259 
Gallienus granted to the bishops the right to recover the 
cemeteries, which had been seized in the recent persecu- 
tions, and which had therefore been registered in the name 
of the bishops a considerable time previously. This being 
the case, the community would be unable to recover such 
property by ordinary legal process from the bishop, if he 
were deposed or changed ; for it could not appear before 
a court except through its bishop.* Permanence in the 
discharge of episcopal duties was usual long before 130; 
but the new character of the bishop must have greatly 
strengthened his official character. If the impression I have 
as to the numbers and power of the Christians in Asia Minor 
is correct, the property of the communities must have been 
considerable. Doubts were sure to arise as to boundaries 
and other points ; and in such cases the community must 
either submit to external claims, or appear by its bishop 
before a tribunal. The bishop thus became the regulator 
of the property of the community. Similarly in modern 

* For example, in A.D. 270, when Paul of Samosata, Bishop of 
Antioch, was deposed, he retained the church building and property 
until the whole church appealed to Aurelian against him (Eusebius, 
H. E., vii., 30). 

432 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Turkey, a religious community can have a legal position 
only as represented by an individual head ; but, if it thus 
legalises itself, the head has ex officio a seat on the district 

Such associations were commonly for sepulchral pur- 
poses, and cemeteries were the most widely spread form of 
property. Bequests of such property are well known.f 

With Hadrian a new period begins in the Church. Not 
merely did Apology arise, as an immediate consequence 
of his wiser policy. The Church as a body responded to 
his action, and a marked distinction in its policy and its 
utterances appears to have taken place about 130. The 
uncompromising spirit of Ignatius did not long survive 
him.J That amount of concession to the State, which was 
implied in pleading before the Imperial tribunal or the bar 
of public opinion, probably became universal soon after his 
time. But there was much disagreement as to the extent 
to which concession should go ; and the disagreement 
increased as time went on. It is quite impossible, owing 

* In this way the pastor of a small Armenian community in 
Csesareia of Cappadocia is a member of the Mejliss of that im- 
portant city, and has at least once, by his solitary resistance, 
prevented an arbitrary act of the Pasha. My authority is Dr. 
Farnsworth, whose mission is not connected in an}'' way with this 
Protestant community. 

t One of the most curious is published by me in Revue des Etudes 
Grecques, 1889, p. 24, where we must read in A (as Mommsen 
writes) 7rr^(;(ea)j/) 8eKa eVi SeKO, and in B 5i/ce[X ]Xa[ra] 5uo and a[ya)y6]i/ 

X From this point of view we must date the Shc;phe7'd of Hermas 
before the era of the charge — i.e., before c. 130. In every aspect 
that I can appreciate, it belongs to the age 100-120, and is earlier 
even than Ignatius' letters. 2 Peter seems to belong to the same 
period as Hermas : I cannot, e.g., imagine iii. i, 2, being written 
at an early period. 

XVII, The Church from 120 to 170 A.D. 433 

to the dearth of works of the period, to say when the 
disagreement began to be apparent ; but it is a striking 
feature of Christian documents (except the purely Apolo- 
getic) in the period that follows A.D. 150. In the Letter of 
the Smyrnaeans about the death of Polycarp in 155, it 
is strongly marked, and evidently is a question that has 
existed for some time, but on which peaceable discussion is 
still possible. The Acta of Carpus^ a document of uncertain 
date, but probably very little later, shows a similar state 
of the discussion, in which it takes the opposite side. 

In the former document, as Keim has rightly observed, 
there is a strong though veiled protest against voluntarily 
offering oneself for martyrdom. The Christian should wait 
till he is arrested, and should consider the safety of his co- 
religionists. Keim * rightly urges that such a protest is 
not in keeping with the earlier tone of the Church ; but he 
wrongly adduces it as an argument that the document is a 
late forgery. In this protest we catch the new tone that 
grew up after Hadrian's time. Hence marked blame is 
cast on the Phrygian, Quintus, who voluntarily gave him- 
self up ; and the drawing of a triumphant moral is implied 
in the way in which his subsequent weakness is described. 
On the other hand, Polycarp's withdrawal from the city 
is described as arising, not from cowardice, but from the 
belief that it was the right course ; and the intention to 
paint Polycarp's action as a law to others is proved by the 
straining after analogies, some rather far-fetched, between 
his death and that of Christ (p. 374 ; Lft, Ign.^ i., p. 610). 

In Acta Carpi, especially in the concluding episode of 

* Aus dem Urchristenthum, p. 119. In his reply to Keim 
Lightfoot seems to me not to show his usual historical insight when 
he inclines to dispute the fact, i., p. 619. 


434 ^-^^ Church in the Roman Efnpire. 

Agathonike, the opposite principle — viz., that the Christian 
ought to proclaim openly his religion, and even to rush 
upon mart3adom * — is insisted on. This document shows 
the same type of feeling, though not so developed, as 
appears in Acta Perpetuce, in which Professor Rendel 
Harris has rightly recognised the controversial character. 
But, though in Acta Carpi the tone is more developed than 
in the Smyrnaean letter, it is still peacable, and free from 
the rancour that characterised the bitter controversy of the 
years after i/o.f In that period Catholic prisoners would 
have no intercourse with Montanists, and in Acta Per- 
petucB the Montanist Saturus in a vision saw the bishop of 
his church shut out from heaven. Acta Carpi is still far 
from that extreme. 

The bishops were the chief agents in carrying out 
the policy of conciliation towards the State, which the 
Catholic Church, as a whole, resolved on, but which a 
strong party in it considered to be a secularisation of 

* This episode, as Harnack well shows, wants the striking in- 
dividualism shown in the characters of Carpos and Papylos, and the 
incidents seem even coloured in imitation of the tale of Thekla. 
Where he preaches most, the writer is more remote from bare narra- 
tive of facts (p. 399). 

t The chieJ point in which I differ from Dr. Harnack's admirable 
edition oi Acta Carpi is his inference, founded on a comparison 
between the later and the earlier Acta, that it is impossible to 
recover from late Acta, by such subjective criticism as M. Le Blant 
has used, any real historical facts. The inference I would draw is 
different. In the late Acta Carpi there is not a single point that 
would be quoted as indicative of real foundation, ai d there is not a 
trace of local colour ; yet we now tind that this miserable legend is 
only a distortion of fact. This case seems to lend strength to the 
argument of those who take any points of finer character in these 
late legends as survivals of real history on which the legends are 

XVII. The CJiMrch from 120 to lyo A D. 435 

religion, and an unworthy compromise.* While the Church, I ''> I^^lu 
guided by the bishops, acted on a skilful and well-con- I CL^ 

sidered plan, the party which held that accommodation L.. 7)^ 
with the State was compromise with the World maintained j 1^. 
that this plan was worldly wisdom, and that the Church 
should have recourse always to Divine guidance, as accorded 
in new revelations to seers, and prophets, and martyrs. ' 

At first both parties continued within the limits of 
brotherhood and one common Church, and both equally 
clung to the idea of unity and solidarity of all Christians. 
Both episkopoi and prophets therefore characterised the 
organisation with which each party started ; but naturally, \ 
as bishops guided the one and prophets the other, each, 
in the progress of disagreement, acquired a growing dislike 
for the organisation which the other insisted on. 

The Church in Asia Minor seems to have held that 
Christians should live in society as far as possible, should 
act as members of the municipal senates, and serve as 
soldiers.f But in Acta Carpi it is clear that the official 
information {elogiunt) supplied to the proconsul specified 
Papylos as a senator ; yet, when the question was put to 
Papylos, he would not admit the fact, but replied, " I am a 
citizen." Apparently he had been called on to serve, but 

* In this critical period our present concern is merely to under- 
stand what did take place, and not to apportion praise or blame to 
the contending parties, 

t Numerous examples, especially of senators, occur in the Christian 
inscriptions of the third century. See my papers in Expositor , 1888-9, 
and Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1883. When TertuUian says 
that Pliny degraded some Bithynian Christians from their rank, he 
is referring to senators degraded as Dorymedon was at Synnada 
(see Le Blant, Actes, p. 122); but his remark is not justified by 
Pliny, and is a judgment grounded on the facts of his own time. 

43 6 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

considered the duty an unworthy one. He held, with 
Tertullian and Origen, that Christians ought not to hold 
office, nor serve in the army, as in both cases it was 
impossible to avoid countenancing heathen rites. But the 
ordinary Christians, the tradesmen and shopkeepers and 
skilled artisans, who had to face the practical difficulties of 
life, while Tertullian taught and thought and wrote, could 
not act on this principle ; * and the Church, as a whole, 
justified them, and held that they ought not to force their 
religion on the notice of others, and might even employ 
legal forms to give a show of legality to their position, and 
help inactive or well-disposed officials to keep their eyes 
shut. The object of using legal forms and fictions was not 
concealment, as that was impossible and unnecessary, when 
they were so powerful as the Church was in Asia Minor 
during the second century. f It was to give themselves a 
legal footing, and allow all who had no active animosity 
to keep up the fiction about them. Thus, even while 
Christianity was held a capital offence, communities ob- 
j tained a legal position as Benefit Societies. 

The party which rejected all these compromises with the 

* Examples of soldiers, stirred by religious feeling to refuse service, 
or to participate in heathen rites, occur in Acta Maximilianiy Acta 
Marcelli (Aug. 2"]), Tertullian de Cor. Mil., i. The refusal to 
perform the ordinary duties of society was termed by the State 
indolence (see above, p. 274, and Le Blant, Actes, p. 312). 

t At an earlier time concealment was an object ; and perhaps a 
trace of this remains in the legend of Avircius Marcellus. At the 
source of a stream among the mountains between Synnada and 
Hieropolis was a place called Gonyklisia — z'.e., where the early rite 
of yovdrav kXio-ls was held. This remote place was clearly a secret 
meeting-place ; and after the meetings had ceased, and the archaic 
term was no longer understood, a foolish legend grew up to explain 
the name, see Expositor, 1889, p. 262. 

XVII , The C/iicrch from 126 to 170 A.D. ^2>7 

State gradually took form as Montanism. Montanism was 1 
injnany respects the conservative principle^ It remained | 
truer to the old forms. It maintained the order of prophets 
in its old dignity : it did not admit the growing dignity of 
the bishops. It claimed that it preserved the character 
and the views of the early Church. But it was unconscious 
that in human society conservatism is an impossibility. 
The life of the Church lay jn the idea of unity and inter- 
communication ; the Catholic Church was truer to this 
essential idea, and, in order to maintain it, was ready to 
sacrifice some of the older forms. Montanism was blind 
to the real character of this idea, and went back to the 
early thought of a local centre for the unified Church, for 
which it was as zealous as the Catholics. It made a New 
Jerusalem, and localised it in two little villages of the 
Phrygian highlands, Pepouza and Tymion.* In opposition 
to this idea of a local centre, the Catholic Church maintained 
in theory that its centre had no locality, and that primacy 
in the Church lay in the most perfect realisation of the 
Christian idea ; but in practice one cannot doubt that the / 
thought of Rome as the centre in fact^ though not in 
principle, was conceived or at least strengthened in opposi- , 
tion to the Montanist Jerusalem. Hence, when Avircius i 
Marcellus, the Catholic champion in Phrygia at this 
period, was approaching death, and wished to leave behind 
him in his epitaph before tl\e eyes of men a testimony 

* Harnack, almost alone among modern writers, and in confessed 
opposition to the views of the later Montanists, considers that the 
earher Montanists held the new Phrygian Jerusalem to be the proper 
home of all Christians, who were to leave their own houses, and to 
settle there. This appears to me to misconceive the Montanist idea, 
which was conservative. 

43 S The Church in the Roman Empire. 

brief, clear, emphatic, of the truth for which he had during 
his Hfe contended, he described in it his visit to Rome and 
his intercourse with the Church there, and his visit to Syria 
with all its cities ; but the only Syrian city which he named 
was not Jerusalem, but Nisibis. 

Conservative as Montanism desired to be, it could not 
preserve the reality of the form that it prized by mere 
1 conservatism. A living and vigorous organism must 
) develop, and Montanism was no exception to this rule. 
It made a Phrygian mountain glen the centre of the 
Church ; and, as a necessary consequence, the marked 
character of the country and the people impressed itself 
more and more on their religion. It is a trite subject, on 
which I need not dwell, how many traces of the old 
enthusiastic religion of Phrygia are to be found in Mon- 
tanism. While, therefore, the unity and brotherhood of 
Christians was the central principle of Montanism, as of 
Catholicism, it was in the nature of things inevitable that 
the former should in Asia Minor become the Church-ac- 
cording-to-the-Phrygians. There was no outside influence 
to counteract the natural tendency of the Phrygians to 
Phrygianise their beliefs ; for outside influence was mainly 
Catholic, and Montanism disliked the episcopal channel 
through which intercommunication was maintained. Thus 
it happened that an influential position was accorded to 
women in Phrygian Montanism. This arose, not from any 
essential principle of Montanist doctrine, but from the tone 
of Asian society. Hence it was not a characteristic of 
Montanism generally ; and no one can be more opposed to 
it as a feature of Church government than the Montanist 
Tcrtullian. That visions were granted to women he ad- 
mitted, but beyond this he would not go ; and it is clear 

XVII. The Church from 130 to 170 A.D. 439 

that the Phrygian Montanist prophetesses, Pri sca and 
Maximi lla, must have gone far further. 

The subject would soon carry us far beyond our Hmits. 
We must not, however, pass from it without referring 
to the one great figure on the CathoHc side produced 
by the Phrygian Church during this period, Avircius. 
Marcellus, born about A.D. 1 20-130. We are fortunate in 
possessing two accounts of his Hfe and action ; one written 
by himself, in his seventy-second year, the other a 
legendary biography, composed, probably, about A.D. 400. 
In the former he appears as an upholder of what he 
believed to be the truth, in a controversy that took place 
within a powerful and world-wide church ; in the latter he 
is the missionary who converted a heathen land. From 
the latter alone it would be impossible to discover the real 
character and position of Avircius Marcellus ; and yet the 
original document, combined with the information given 
by Eiisebius, shows how most of the legendary adventures 
originated. It would be most instructive in regard to the 
nature of these late Acta in general, and also in regard to 
the difference between the tone of the Church in the second 
century and A.D. 400, to study in detail the legendary 
biography. But such a study would be premature until 
a MS. of the Acta in the National Library in Paris is 
published.* An important MS., now in Jerusalem, is said 
by Professor Rendel Harris to be on the eve of publica- 
tion by M. Papadopoulos Kerameus. For the present I 
need only refer to what I have written on the subject 
in Expositor^ 1889; further reflection and study have 
confirmed me in the opinions there expressed. In par- 

* No. 1540. Rev. H. Thurston, ^S*. jf., has kindly sent me some 
highly interesting passages from it. 

44^ The CImrch in the Roman Empire. 

ticular, the name Avircius Marcellus still seems to me to 
imply Western origin. If the name occurred in a pagan 
inscription, no one would have a moment's hesitation in 
accepting it as belonging to an Italian settler in Asia 
Minor, one of the numerous Roman traders who swarmed 
in the great cities of the provinces, and who played in 
ancient times a part similar to that played by British 
commerce in spreading national influence at the present 
day. I feel obliged to interpret the names of Christians on 
the same principles as those of pagans, and to recognise 
Avircius Marcellus as a Roman citizen (the prcenomen 
being, as often, omitted) belonging to a Western family 
settled in Asia Minor.* 

The Catholic champion's fame naturalised the name 
Avircius in Phrygia in its Greek forms, '' AovlpKLo<^^ '' A^lpKio^^ 
^A^epiao^. Examples of its use occur as late as the tenth 
century, when it was borne by an official mentioned in the 
treatise of Constantine Porphyrogenitus de Adni. Imp., 50. 
It is found in Phrygian inscriptions of the fourth century j 
(see Expositor, 1889, p. 395, and Lightfoot, Ignatius, i., 
p. 501). One of these, shown in the accompanying illus- 
tration, deserves more notice ; it is the epitaph on the 
gravestone that marked the tomb of Abirkios, son of 
Porphyrios, a deacon at Prymnessos. His name is a 

* Aburcus at Falerii, Deecke Falisker, p. 214 ; Avircius in Rome, 
C.I.L., vi., 12923-5 ; Avercius in Gaul, xii.,1052 ; it spread to Cappa- 
docia as Aboargios, Basil, Ep., T)^. Ignatius Theophorus is not 
Roman : he belonged to a Syrian family, strongly affected by 
Western civilisation, which had discarded native names and used 
the double nomenclature, Italian and Greek. The unusual name 
Ignatius has some historical explanation. 

t They mark the period when Avircius was remembered as the 
old Christian hero, and the legend was growing in Catholic circles. 












Early Christian Monument from Frymnessos. [/>. 441 

XVI L The Church from 130 to 170 A.D. 441 

sufficient proof that he belonged to the CathoHc Church, 
and therefore that there was a CathoHc Church at Prym- 
nessos, in the anti-CathoHc part of Fhrygia.* 

The sculpture on the gravestone is interesting, as giving 
one of the earliest known representations of the Saviour, 
who, as in other early sculptures, is represented as a youth- 
ful figure. In all probability a Montanist would have 
regarded the representation of the Saviour as idolatrous ; 
but the Iconodoulic tendency was already beginning in the 
Orthodox Church. He stands, facing, but with the head 
turned to the right, with the thumb and two fingers of the 
right hand extended. The attitude is that of admonition 
and instruction. The figure has the squat proportions that 
mark the declining art of the late third and the fourth 
century. The features are those of the conventional male 
youth of later art, insipid but retaining the Greek type 
and character. The artist was used to represent the face 
in profile, and therefore put the head in that position, 
though the body is differently placed. 

The heads of Abirkios, and his wife, Theuprepia, are 
shown on a larger scale, one on each side of the central 
figure. That of Abirkios is of the conventional, expression- 
less type ; but in the face of Theuprepia there appear 
individuality and beauty, which are lost in the reproduction. 
It is the portrait of a matron, plump, with a slight tendency 
to double chin ; the features are graceful, dignified, and 

* An inscription of Sinethandos or Laodiceia Combusta, probably 
of the end of the fourth, or early fifth, century, mentions the Church 
of the Novatians there. The phrase rwv Navarcov has been mis- 
understood in the Cor_pzis, No. 9,268, and treated as a single word 
even by M. Waddington, No. 1,699. The article roii/ has been 
doubled by error of the engraver. 

442 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

noble, and wear the placid and contented expression which 
indicates comfortable circumstances and a happy life. I 
can hardly imagine this face to be the work of a fourth- 
century artist. 

The official title deacon, on the" other hand, points to 
the period when the Christian religion was recognised and 
legal after the triumph of Constantine. The Catholic 
principle seems to have been to avoid the public use 
of official terms before the Church was explicitly legalised. 
It is, however, not impossible that we have here an 
instance of the title being used even earlier — e.g., in the 
early years of Diocletian's reign, when he was favourably 
inclined towards the Christians.* The use of meiiiorion to 
indicate an ordinary grave also, perhaps, points to a third 
rather than a fourth century date. It was afterwards 
appropriated to the holy grave and shrine of a martyr or 

We notice that, as in almost all Asian epitaphs, the 
wife precedes the children. The regular order in Greek 
literature was to mention the children before the wife. 

Note. — A document, published too late for Lightfoot to use, 
gives a clue to the proper form of the inscriptions about Philip the 
Asiarch, published in his Ignat., i., p. 629 f.: the words perhaps 
are \KaTa ra rrjs ^ovXrjS duyixara, dvayv(x)a06V^T[a] Koi €TriKvp[^coOev]Ta vno 
Tov Oeiorarov avTOKparopos 'Aurcoueiuov, /c.r.X. ; or possibly [fcara ra vno 
TTjs ^ovXrjs yl/T](fitadev]T[a^, Koi C7riKup[co^ei/]ra, k.t.X. Bull. Corr. Hell.y 
1887, p. 299. 

* The form hmKwv for hiaKovo^ occurs in a pagan inscription 
giving a list of the officials of a temple at Metropolis in Ionia, 
and therefore not later than the end of the third century : Mous. 
Smyr?!.^ iii. p. 93. 




WE have now treated in brief outline the position of 
the Church in the Empire during the period when 
its organisation was in process of formation. By the time 
which we have reached (170-180 A.D.), all the elements of 
the consolidated Church had assumed the form and the 
mutual relations which on the whole characterise its subse- 
quent development. 

From this date onwards the subject which has occupied 
our attention becomes more complicated, far more evidence 
bearing upon it is accessible, and it is hardly susceptible of 
treatment as a whole. The development of the Catholic 
Church was indeed an element of unity over the whole 
Empire ; but in each province the situation of the unified 
and universal Church varied. The elements within the 
pale of Christianity which opposed the tendencies of the 
universal Church varied in each province ; the character 
of the people, the type of their religious feeling and atti- 
tude, the relation in which they stood towards the Roman 
Government and society, differed widely in different lands. 
In the history of each province this subject should occupy 

* This chapter, published in great part in Exj^ositor, 1891, was 
originally a lecture delivered in Cambridge at the invitation of 
Dr. Westcott in 1889. Traces of the original form remain on 
PP- 448, 450- 


444 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

some place — even a prominent place ; * and until the local 
varieties are better understood and more clearly described 
than has hitherto been the case, it will be impossible to 
attain a trustworthy conception of the position of the 
Church within the Empire, between the point which we 
have reached and the final triumph of the new religion. 

To come to the particular case of the country with which 
I am most familiar, we want to catch the Cappadocian 
Christian of the fourth century, the Phrygian Christian of 
the second and third centuries, and to acquire some con- 
ception of his character, his ways, and his thoughts, and 
of how he got on with his non -Christian neighbours. In 
studying this subject, one is led to the opinion that a 
distinction in social type must be drawn among the 
Christians. In the period following A.D. 130 the history 
of Christianity in Asia Minor, when treated as a branch 
of the history of society, is a long conflict between two 
opposing tendencies, leading to the formation of sects 
or churches. From the theological point of view, these 
provincial churches belong to various classes, and are 
called by many names ; but they have all certain common 
features, — they tended towards separatism and diversity, 
in opposition to the unity of the Catholic Church, and 
they arrived at this diversity through no intentional re- 
jection of the unity of all Christians, but through the 
gradual and unmarked development of native character- 
istics in what they considered to be the true and original 
form of their common religion. 

* In Mommsen's Provinces of the Roman Empire it did not 
enter into his plan, and the social conditions of each province 
are described almost as if there had been no Christians in it, or, at 
least, as if they exerted no influence on it. 

XVIII. Glycerins the Deacon, 445 

The history of the Catholic Church varied greatly in 
different districts of Asia Minor. In some it never touched 
the popular heart, and was barely maintained by external 
influence ; in others it achieved a complete victory over 
the forces that tended to cause disintegration ; and in some 
cases only a faint echo of any conflict has reached us. My 
position is, that there was, in every case throughout Asia 
Minor where any evidence is known, such a conflict ; that 
the first Christians of the country were not organised in a 
strict fashion, but were looser communities, in which per- 
sonal influence counted for much and official station for 
little ; and that the strict discipline of the Catholic Church 
was gradually framed to counteract the disintegrating 
tendency, in a political and a religious view alike, of the 
provincial character, organised the whole Church in a strict 
hierarchy of territorial character, parallel to the civil organi- 
sation, and enabled the Church to hold together the Roman 
Empire more firmly than the worship of the Emperors 
could ever do. Politically the Church was originally a 
protest against over-centralisation and against the usur- 
pation by the Imperial Government of the rights of the 
individual citizen. It ended by being more centralised than 
the Empire itself ; and the Christian Empire destroyed all 
the municipal freedom and self-government that had existed 
under the earlier Empire. 

We should be glad if we could answer the question why 
some districts of Asia Minor resisted the Catholic Church 
so persistently, and others followed it so readily ; why, for 
example, if I may use the question-begging terms, Cappa- 
docia was orthodox and Phrygia heretical ? 

The answer seems obvious in the case of Cappadocia. 
The group of great Church leaders, Basil, Amphilochius, 

44^ The CJmrch in the Roman E^npire 

and the three Gregories (for I think Gregory, the Bishop 
of Nazianzos, may fairly be mentioned along with his far 
more famous son), — this group of leaders carried the 
country with them. But this answer only puts the difficulty 
one step back. Can any reason be suggested why the great 
Cappadocian leaders followed the Roman Church, whereas 
almost all the most striking figures in Phrygian ecclesiastical 
history opposed it ? 

Partly, no doubt, the reason was geographical or racial — 
i.e.y it depended on the character produced in the inhabit- 
ants by the situation, the atmosphere, the scenery, and the 
past history of the two districts respectively; but partly it 
was due to influences acting at the time on the general 
population and on the leaders of thought in each country. 
These influences are an interesting study. In Phrygia the 
evidence is almost entirely archaeological, for no historian 
does more than make an occasional passing allusion to the 
country ; but in Cappadocia much light is thrown on the 
subject by the biographies and writings of a series of great 
historical figures ; and a study of these documents in 
their relations to the archaeological evidence is the first 
preliminary in carrying out the purpose that has just been 
indicated. This book cannot be better concluded than by 
a few specimens of the work that remains to be done for 
the later history of Christianity in the country with which 
we have been chiefly concerned. 

The history of Basil of Caesareia, Gregory of Nyssa, and 
the distinguished family to which they belonged, is closely 
connected with the city of Ibora in Pontus. A glance at 
the biography of the various members of the family shows 
that a number of questions with regard to the circum- 
stances of their life, and the exact meaning to be placed 

XVIII. Glycerins the Deacon, 447 

on the language of many of their letters and the incidents 
they describe, depend on the locality and surroundings. 
But the name Ibora was long floating in air, and had 
not set foot on the ground ; and for all reasoning that 
depends on local circumstances, on the relation of city 
with city, district with district, and civil governors or 
bishops with each other, it would have been as useful to 
say that Basil's family owned an estate beside Cloud- 
Cuckoo-Town, as to say that they were landed proprietors 
near Ibora. But, if any one were to attempt the task of 
reconstructing a picture of the society in which Basil, the 
Gregories, and Amphilochius moved, and of their relations 
with it, the state of education in the country, and the 
attitude which young graduates of the University of Athens 
assumed to the home-trained Cappadocians or Pontians — 
an historian of that class, if such a one should arise, would 
find many investigations stopped, unless he could attain 
certainty as to the situations in which the events were 
transacted. The operations of the English Asia Minor 
Exploration Fund have now cleared away much of the 
uncertainty that hung over the localities in which the great 
events of Cappadocian religious history took place, and 
have made it possible to face fairly the problem of describ- 
ing the circumstances of that critical period, 350-400, when 
the character of the Cappadocian Church was determined. 
Here is a period about which a great body of evidence 
remains, in the writings of the principal agents on the 
victorious side. The account of their opponents, of course, 
has to be accepted with caution ; but in weighing it we 
can, at least, always have the certainty that they are not 
too lenient in their judgment, or flattering in their descrip- 
tion, of the opposite party. 

448 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

In the year 370, Basil was appointed bishop of Caesareia, 
metropoHtan of Cappadocia, and exarch or patriarch of the 
Pontic dicecesis. He was appointed in spite of the resist- 
ance of the majority of his bishops, in spite of the disHke 
and dread of many of the people, in spite of the open 
opposition of the Government. He was elected by the 
strenuous exertions of a few influential individuals ; and 
the authority of the Church outside the province was 
needed in order to put down the disaffected within it. 
The cause of the Catholic Church was involved in his 
election : without the hand of a vigorous organiser there 
was extreme danger that " heresy "— Eunomianism, Arian- 
ism, and so on — would triumph in Cappadocia. We want 
to learn what this means to the student of society. Did 
the Eunomian differ from the Catholic only in certain 
points of doctrine, being otherwise undistinguishable from 
him ? or do these words indicate a difference in private 
life, in political feeling, and in Church organisation ? The 
question may be answered fully, when the historian is 
found who will face the problem as it has just been 
sketched.* I can only express the hope that in this 
university something may be done to solve it. The later 
Greek and Latin writers are full of material, uncollected 
and unvalued, for the history of society. Why should 
almost all the natural ability and admirable training of the 
classical scholars of Cambridge be directed towards such 
a narrow range of authors ? Every one who has toiled 
through a Byzantine historian in the edition of the Berlin 
Academy — that dauernde ScJiande der deutscJiefi PJiilologie 

* The following sentences are left in the same form as they had 
in the lecture addressed to a Cambridge society. So also on p. 450 

XVIII. Glycerius the Deacon. 449 

■ — compelled, as he does so, slowly and without critical 
material, to remake his edition for his own use, and has 
then run joyously through Dc Boor's admirable Theo- 
phanes — every one who has done that knows what need 
there is for the wider employment of learning and skill. 
Why should traditional belief — or, shall I say, traditional 
ignorance? — exclude all Christian Fathers or Byzantine 
historians from the classical scholar's interests, and almost 
confine him to producing the 43rd edition of one out of 
about a score of writers ? When he has something to say 
about Homer or Cicero that he must say, then let him say 
it ; but might not some of the good scholarship of this 
university be more profitably employed ? I am not un- 
grateful for the large amount of help that I have had from 
Cambridge scholarship, but what I have had only makes 
me wish for more. 

I shall try to ^w^ an example of the importance and the 
human interest of this subject, by examining one single 
episode in Cappadocian history, about A.D. 371-374, and 
showing what light is thrown by it on the character of 
the Cappadocian Christians at the time. The incident is 
related by Archdeacon Farrar in his Lives of the Fathers 
as follows. His account agrees in all essential points 
with that given by Canon Venables in the Dictionary of 
Christian Biography, with Tillemont, and with the Migne 
biography, and may fairly be taken as representing the 
usual interpretation. 

" The extraordinary story of the deacon Glycerius illus- 
trates the aberrations due to the fermenting enthusiasm and 
speculative curiosity which marked the Eastern Church, and 
which were fostered by the dreamy idleness of innumerable 
monks. Glycerius was a young man whose early vigour 


450 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

Basil viewed with so much favour, that he had ordained 
him deacon of the church of Venesa (?) * about 372. Puffed 
up by his ordination, the young deacon proceeded to gather 
round him a band of devoted young ladies, whose admira- 
tion he won by sleek and soft religious arts, and who 
supported him by their offerings. Severely reproved by his 
presbyter, his chorepiscopus, and lastly by Basil, Glycerius 
left the town by night with a band of these girls and some 
youths, and scandalised the country by wandering about 
with them in a disorderly manner, dancing and singing 
hymns, amid the jeers of the coarse rustics. When their 
fathers came to rescue the girls Glycerius ignominiously 
drove them away. Finally, the whole band took refuge 
with a bishop named Gregory, whom even the Benedictine 
editor is inclined to think may have been Gregory of Nyssa. 
Basil treated the vain, mischievous, and deluded deacon 
with much fatherly forbearance, and promised to deal with 
him kindly if he would dismiss the votaries he was leading, 
not to God, but to the abyss. Strange to say, the 
bishop, whoever he was, either failed to second Basil's 
efforts, or only did so in a lukewarm and inadequate 

Let me now read to you the letters from which all our 
knowledge has to be gathered. I hope that, through my 
bald translation something of the fire and vigour of the 
original may appear. Few writers can compare with Basil 
in directness ; not a word can be spared without a distinct 
loss of effect. He does indeed use Iva with conjunctive 
in a way to make a classical scholar's hair stand on end ; 
but, if the classical scholar disdains the usage, so much 

* The interrogation is left as in the original. 

XV III, Glycerms the Deacon, 451 

the worse for him.* It is true that the usage does not 
occur in Demosthenes, but it is stamped by a greater than 
that man of words, the man least capable of understanding 
his time of all that have ever figured in history as states- 
men, unless Cicero be taken into account 

I. Basil to Gregory (Ep. clxix. [ccccxit.]). 

" Thou hast taken a reasonable and kindly and compas- 
sionate course in showing hospitality to the captives of the 
mutineer Glycerius (I assume the epithet for the moment) 
and in veiling our common disgrace so far as possible. 
But when thy discretion has learned the facts with regard 
to him, it is becoming that thou shouldst put an end to the 
scandal. This Glycerius who now parades among you with 
such respectability was consecrated by ourselves as deacon 
of the Church of Venasa, to be a minister to the presbyter 
there and to attend to the work of the church ; for though 
he is in other respects unmanageable, yet he is clever 
in doing whatever comes to his hand. But when he was 
appointed, he neglected the work as completely as if it had 
never existed. Gathering together a number of poor girls, 
on his own authority and responsibility, some of them 
flocking voluntarily round him (for you know the flightiness 

* There is too great proneness to stamp one period of Latin, one 
period of one dialect of Greek, as correct, and everything that differs 
as wrong. But the real cause of the inferiority of style in later pagan 
writers lies, not in the words, but in the want of life and spirit in the 
men. The question has yet to be asked and answered, how far the 
language used by Basil is less fit to express clearly and vigorously his 
meaning than that used by Demosthenes, and, if so, what are the real 
reasons for the inferiority ? Those who have read least of such authors 
as Basil are most ready to condemn their style. 

452 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

of young people in such matters), and some of them unwill- 
ing, he set about making himself the leader of a company ; 
and taking to himself the name and the garb of a patriarch, 
he of a sudden paraded as a great power, not reaching this 
position by a course of obedience and piety, but making it 
a livelihood, as one might take up any trade ; and he has 
almost upturned the whole Church, disregarding his own 
presbyter, and disregarding the village-bishop and ourselves 
too, as of no account, and ever filling the civil polity and 
the clerical estate with riot and disorder. And at last, 
when a slight reproof was given by ourselves and by the 
village-bishop, with the intent that he should cease his 
mutinous conduct (for he was exciting young men to the 
same courses), he conceives a thing very audacious and 
unnatural. Impiously carrying off as many young women 
as he could, he runs away under the cover of night. This 
must seem to thee quite horrible. 

" Think too what the occasion was. The festival of Venasa 
was being celebrated, and as usual a vast crowd was flock- 
ing thither from all quarters. He led forth his chorus, 
marshalled by young men and circling in the dance, making 
the pious cast down their eyes, and rousing the ridicule of 
the ribald and loose-tongued. Nor is this all, serious as it 
is ; but further, as I am informed, when the parents could 
not endure to be orphaned of their children, and wished to 
bring them home from the dispersion, and came as weeping 
suppliants to their own daughters, he insults and scandalises 
them, this admirable young fellow with his piratical 

"This ought to appear intolerable to thy discretion, for it 
brings us all into ridicule. The best thing is that thou 
shouldest order him to return with the young women, for he 

XVIII. Glycerins the Deacon. 453 

would meet with allowance if he comes with letters from 
thee. If that be impossible, the young women, at any rate, 
thou shalt send back to their mother the Church. Or, in 
the third place, do not allow them that are willing to return 
to be kept under compulsion, but persuade them to come 
back to us. 

" Otherwise we testify to thee, as we do to God and men, 
that this is a wrong thing, and against the rules of the 
Church. If Glycerius return with a spirit of wisdom and 
orderliness, that were best ; but if not, he must be removed 
from the ministry." 

II. Basil to Glycerius (Ep. clxx. [ccccxiv.]). 

" How far wilt thou carry thy madness, working evil for 
thyself and disturbance for us, and outraging the common 
order of monks ? Return then, trusting in God and in us, 
who imitate the compassion of God. For, though like a 
father we have chidden thee, yet we will pardon thee like 
a father. Such are our words to thee, inasmuch as many 
supplicate for thee, and before all thy presbyter, whose 
gray hairs and kindly spirit we respect. But if thou con- 
tinuest to absent thyself from us, thou art altogether cast 
out from thy station ; and thou shalt be cast out from God 
with thy songs and thy raiment, by which thou leadest 
the young women, not towards God, but into the pit." 

These two letters were obviously written at the same 
time, and sent by the same messenger ; the third was 
written after an interval, and apparently after receipt of a 
letter from Gregory asking for assurance of full pardon 
for Glycerius. 

454 ^^ Church in the Roman Empire, 

III. Basil to Gregory (Ep. clxxi. [ccccxiii.]). 

" I WROTE to thee already before this about Glycerlus 
and the maidens. Yet they have never to this day returned, 
but are still delaying ; nor do I know why and how, for I 
should not charge thee with doing this in order to cause 
slander against us, either being thyself annoyed with us or 
doing a favour to others.* Let them come then without 
fear ; be thou guarantee on this point. For we are 
afflicted when the members of the Church are cut off, even 
though they be deservedly cut off. But, if they should 
resist, the responsibility must rest on others, and we wash 
our hands of it." 

For the right understanding of this incident the only 
evidence available is contained in (i) these three letters of 
Basil ; (2) a sentence of Strabo (p. 537), describing the 
village and district of Venasa ; (3) an inscription found in 
1882 on a hill-top near the village ; (4) the map of Cappa- 
docia as now reconstructed. A first glance at the evidence 
is enough to reveal various details inconsistent with the 
accepted account ; and we may be sure that Basil has not 
coloured in favour of Glycerius those details that give a 
different complexion to the incident. 

In the first place, the very evident sympathy of Gregory 
for Glycerius disquiets all the modern interpreters ; his 
sympathy cannot be due to ignorance of the facts of the 
case, for he was far closer to the spot than Basil himself, 
and the acts were not hid under a bushel, but done openly, 

* The reference is to Basil's numerous enemies, who would be 
delighted that the Bishop of Nazianzos should refuse to comply with 
his wishes. 

XVIII. Glycerins the Deacon. 455 

and no doubt widely talked about. The only explanation 
that can be devised by the interpreters is to deny part of 
the evidence. The MS. evidence, so far as quoted in the 
Migne edition, is that two of the letters are addressed to 
Gregory of Nazianzos. Most of the interpreters say that 
Gregory of Nyssa must be meant, and that Gregory of 
Nyssa was guilty of many weak and foolish acts. The 
answer lies in the map, which confirms the old authority, 
and disproves the modern suggestion.* 

In the next place, the presbyter, whom Basil represents 
as having been disregarded and set at nought, is in favour 
of the offender, and beseeches Basil to act kindly to him. 
Canon Venables indeed says that the presbyter " gravely 
admonished" Glycerius; but this misrepresents the evidence. 
The "village-bishop " and Basil himself censured Glycerius ; 
but though Basil says Glycerius showed disrespect to the 
presbyter, he drops no hint that the presbyter complained 
about this, but rather implies the opposite. Basil himself 
does not even hint at any darker crime than injudiciousness 
and ambition in the relations of Glycerius to the devotees ; 
and there can be no doubt that the letters omit no charge 
that could be brought against the rebellious deacon. The 
evident purity of conduct in this strange band may fairly 
be taken as necessarily implying that the strictest religious 

* If any change is permitted in the MS. authority, I should 
understand the elder Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzos, and date the 
letters A.D. yiTi- The Gregory to whom these letters were addressed 
was obviously not under Basil's authority, and was therefore under 
Tyana ; but Nyssa was under Caesareia, subject directly to Basil, 
as Venasa also was. The tone of the letters also is more respectful 
and less peremptory than Basil would probably have employed to 
his brother, or even to his friend Gregory. On the map, see 
Historical Ge.ogra;phy of Asia Minor, p. 293 

45 6 1^^^^ Church in the Roman Empire. 

obligations were observed by the devotees. In such a 
difficult situation there is no alternative but either strict 
asceticism, springing from fanatical or enthusiastic religious 
feeling, or license and scandal. 

Now the evident sympathy both of the immediate 
superior, the presbyter, whose influence had been appa- 
rently diminished by the popularity of the deacon, and oi 
the Bishop of Nazianzos (whether the older Gregory or his 
son, who filled his place for a short time after his death 
in 374), is quite unintelligible if Glycerins had introduced 
some new and startling features into the religion of the 
province. It is, of course, certain that the principles of both 
the Gregories, father and son, were opposed to such mani- 
festations, as being contrary to the whole spirit of the 
Catholic Church. The reason why Gregory sympathised 
must be that Glycerius was only keeping up the customary 
ceremonial of a great religious meeting. Canon Venables 
indeed says that the band " wandered about the country 
under the pretence of religion, singing hymns and leaping 
and dancing in a disorderly fashion," and Archdeacon 
Farrar agrees with him. But there is no warrant in the 
letter of Basil for this account. The band is not said 
either to wander about the country or to dance in a dis- 
orderly way. Accurate geography is useful in studying 
these writers, but accurate translation is not without its 
advantages. Let us scrutinise the facts a little more closely, 
examining the situation and the probabilities of the case ; 
and I think we shall have to admit that Basil is giving us 
a picture, coloured to his view, of a naive and quaint 
ceremony of early Cappadocian Christianity, which he 
regarded with horror, and was resolved to stamp out. 

One of the most striking features in the whole incident 

XVIII. Glycerius the Deacon. 457 

is the important part played by women. Now this is the 
most striking feature also in the native religion and society 
of Asia Minor. (See pp. 161, 391.) 

The occasion when the most extreme features of this 
Cappadocian " heresy " were displayed was the great 
festival at Venasa, when a vast concourse was gathered 
there. This festival is called by Canon Venables a " fair " ; 
but this is not an accurate translation. The synodos, which 
was held there, was certainly similar to the Armenian 
synodoSy held at Phargamous. At Phargamous, in the 
month of June, a great festival was held in honour of 
certain martyrs ; and such dignitaries as Basil himself, 
Eusebius of Samosata, and Theodotus of Nicopolis, might 
be expected at it. 

Moreover, the synodos of Venasa was one of the most 
ancient and famous religious meetings in Cappadocia. 
The priest of Zeus at Venasa was second in dignity and 
power only to the priest of Komana ; he held office for 
life, and was practically a king. A village inhabited by 
3,000 hierodouloi was attached to the temple, and round it 
lay a sacred domain that brought in an annual income of 
fifteen talents (nearly ;^4,ooo). Christianity directed the 
religious feeling of the country towards new objects, but 
preserved the old seasons and methods. A Christian 
festival was substituted for the old festival of Zeus, doubt- 
less the occasion when the god made his annual e^o8o<;, or 
procession round his country. Basil, unluckily, pitiless of 
the modern scholar, does not name the month when the 
festival took place, and the sole memorials of it that remain 
to complete the account of Strabo are, first, a brief invoca- 
tion to the heavenly Zeus, found on a hill-top, to guide us 
(along with other evidence J to the situation (see p. 142) ; 

45 8 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

and, secondly, these letters of Basil, to show how the 
Cappadocian Christians developed the pagan festival. 

At this great religious ceremony of the whole country, 
Glycerius brought forth his followers, singing and dancing 
in chorus. Such ceremonies were necessarily a part of the 
old religious festival of Zeus, and their existence in it, 
though not attested, may be safely assumed ; accordingly 
there is every probability that they were not novelties 
introduced by Glycerius, but were part of the regular 
Cappadocian custom. They are a natural and regular 
concomitant of the earlier and simpler forms of religion, 
whether Pagan or Jewish ; and at Venasa they were re- 
tained, with some modifications in the words and the 
gestures. Hymns undoubtedly were substituted for the 
pagan formulae, and not a hint is dropped by Basil that 
the dancing and singing were not of a quiet and modest 
character. The license of the old pagan ceremonies had 
been given up ; but in many respects there was no doubt a 
striking resemblance between the old pagan and the new 
Christian festival. Probably the dancing of the great 
dervish establishments of Kara Hissar and Iconium at the 
present day would give the best idea of the festival at 
Venasa in the time of Basil, though the solemnity and 
iconoclastic spirit of Mohammedanism have still further 
toned down the ecstasy and enthusiastic abandon of the old 
ritual. But the strange, weird music of the flute and 
cymbals, and the excited yet always orderly dancing, make 
the ceremony even yet the most entrancing and intoxicating 
that I have ever witnessed. Through this analogy we can 
come to realise the power that might be acquired by a 
man of natural ability and religious fervour over numbers 
of young persons. This influence was increased by the 

XVIII. Glycerins the Deacon. 459 

character which Glycerius assumed and the robes which he 
wore. In the old pagan festival the leader of the festival 
wore the dress and bore the name of the deity whom he 
represented. The custom is well known both in Greece 
(where the Dionysos festival is the most familiar, but far 
from the sole, example) and in Asia Minor.* Glycerius, 
as Basil tells us, assumed the name and the dress of a 
" patriarch." The meaning of this seems to be that the 
director of ceremonies (who, like the modern dervish sheikh, 
never danced himself) was equipped in a style corresponding 
to the pagan priest, and assumed the character of the highest 
religious official, the patriarch. 

But a new era began in Cappadocia when Basil became 
head of the Church. It is obvious that abuses might 
readily, almost necessarily, creep into such ceremonies ; 
and clearly the edict went forth that they must cease. 
Basil does not say that any real abuses had occurred. He 
speaks only of the downcast looks of the pious spectators, 
and the jests of the ribald and loose-tongued ; but he is 
clearly describing what he conceives to be the inevitable 
outcome of such ceremonies. The spirit of the Church, 
whose champion Basil was, was inexorably opposed to such 
exhibitions. For good or for evil, such prominence given 
to women in religious ceremonial was hateful to it. The 
influence acquired by a deacon, his assumption of the robes 
and name of a patriarch, were subversive of the strict 
discipline of the Roman Church. The open association 
of a monk with a band of young women was contrary to 
the rules of the monastic order. The village-bishop, 
acting doubtless on previous general orders of his superior^ 

* E.g., at Pessinus the priest took ex officio the name Attis. 

460 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

reprimanded Glycerius, and his action was confirmed and 
enforced by Basil. Glycerius, when thus treated, took 
advantage of the recent changes which had curtailed the 
power of Basil. He crossed the frontier into the adjoining 
bishopric of Nazianzos, which was now included in the 
province of Second Cappadocia, under the metropolitan of 
Tyana. The young women that followed his ministrations 
fled with him ; and, as Gregory received and sheltered them 
all, we cannot doubt that the flight was made in an orderly 
way, without scandal, and with the air of pious but per- 
secuted Christians. Basil then complained to Gregory in 
the letter quoted. The reply of Gregory unfortunately 
has not been preserved ; but we can imagine that he gave 
a different version of the case, stated his views as to the 
character of Glycerius, and urged Basil to promise complete 
forgiveness on condition of the immediate return of all the 

We have the reply of Basil, giving the required assurance, 
though not with the best grace. One motive that evidently 
weighed with him was apprehension of the talk that he 
would give rise to, if he persisted in an intolerant policy. 
Now all this is inconceivable except on the supposition 
that, according to the above description, Glycerius was 
acting in accordance with established custom and the 
general feeling of the Cappadocian Church, while Basil 
was too hastily and sternly suppressing the custom of the 
country. The incipient schism, roused by the sternness of 
Basil, was healed by the mild mediation of Gregory. 

The fault in Glycerius which most offended Basil was 
evidently his transgression of the Church discipline. The 
full significance of this can be grasped only in its connection 
with the whole policy of Basil. 

XVI IT. Glycerins the Deacon. 461 

The powerful personality, the intense, uncompromising 
zeal, and the great practical ability of Basil were of the 
first consequence in insuring the triumph of the Catholic 
Church in Cappadocia. But one man, however powerful, 
cannot do everything by his own immediate effort, especially 
when his personal influence is interrupted by a too early 
death, as Basil's was. The organising power which has 
always been so conspicuous a feature of the Church, ex- 
ercised as powerful an influence in Cappadocia as elsewhere. 
The organisation which Basil left behind him completed 
his work. One great object of Basil's administration was 
to establish large ecclesiastical centres of two kinds : first, 
orphanages, and, secondly, monasteries. An orphanage 
was built in every district of his immense diocese ; the one 
at Caesareia, with its church, bishop's palace, and residences 
for clergy, hospices for poor, sick, and travellers, hospitals 
for lepers, and workshops for teaching and practising 
trades, was so large as to be called the " New City." Such 
establishments constituted centres from which the irresistible 
influence of the Church permeated the whole district, as, 
centuries before, the cities founded by the Greek kings 
had been centres from which the Greek influence had 
slowly penetrated the country round. The monks and the 
monasteries, which Basil established widely over the country, 
were centres of the same influence ; and though the monks 
occasionally caused some trouble by finding even Basil 
himself not sufficiently orthodox, they were effective agents 
of the Catholic Church, whereas the solitary hermits and 
anchorets, whom Basil rather discouraged, though he had 
been one himself, were perhaps more favourable to the pro- 
vincial Church, and were certainly a far less powerful 
engine for affecting the country. 

462 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

That the monk Glycerius should break through the 
gradations of office and the spirit of the Church, should 
parade in the robes of the patriarch, and flee from his 
superior's jurisdiction in the company of a band of women, 
was a thing intolerable to Basil. 

One other point requires notice : is any external cir- 
cumstance known that is likely to have directed such men 
as Basil and Gregory away from the line of native develop- 
ment in religion ? A strong impulse probably was given 
them by their foreign education. They lost the narrow, 
provincial tone ; they came to appreciate the unity and 
majesty of the Roman Empire ; they realised the destiny of 
the Church to be the unifying religion of the Empire — 
i.e.^ of the civilised world. They also learned something 
about that organisation by which Rome ruled the world, 
and they appreciated the fact that the Church could fulfil 
its destiny and rule the Roman Empire only by strict 
organisation and rigid discipline. Men like Glycerius 
could not see beyond the bounds of their native district 
with its provincial peculiarities; men like Basil were perhaps 
intolerant of mere provincialism. 

Perhaps a clearer idea of the causes which made Cappa- 
docia orthodox may be gained by looking at Phrygia, which 
was mainly a heretical country. The cities of the Lycus 
valley, and of the country immediately east and north-east 
of it, which were most under the Roman influence, were 
of the dominant Christian Church ; but the mass of the 
country adhered stubbornly to the native forms of Chris- 
tianity. Probably this has something to do with the fact 
that in Phrygia so few Christian communities have main- 
tained an unbroken existence through the Turkish domina- 
tion, whereas in Cappadocia a fair proportion of the whole 

XVIII. Glycerins the Deacon. 463 

population has preserved its religion to the present day. 
Many of the Phrygians were always discontented with the 
Byzantine rule, except under the Inconoclast emperors. 
When John Comnenus was invading the Seljuk dominions, 
he found Christian communities, who so much preferred 
Turkish rule to Byzantine, that they fought against him, 
even without support from the Turks, and had to be 
reduced by force of arms. To a certain extent this was 
perhaps due to their preferring the easy Seljuk yoke to 
the heavy Byzantine taxation ; but it is very probable that 
religious difference was the chief cause. 

How far then can we trace in Phrygia the presence or 
absence of the causes that made Cappadocia orthodox? 
Little or no trace of such organisation as Basil made in 
Cappadocia can be found in Phrygia. In the life of 
Hypatius written by his disciple Callinicus, and corrected 
by another hand in the time of his third successor, we read 
that he was born in Phrygia, but was obliged to emigrate 
to Thrace in order to gratify his wish to live in a church or 
monastery where he might associate with discreet men ; 
" for there were then no such persons, except isolated indi- 
viduals, in Phrygia, and if a church existed anywhere, the 
clergy were rustic and ignorant, though the country has 
since become almost entirely Christian " {i.e., orthodox). 

Hypatius flourished in the first half of the fifth century ; 
so that the apparent reform here described belongs to the 
period 450-500.* The organisation of Phrygia on the 

* The revision of the biography as composed by Callinicus is said 
expressly to have extended only to a correction of the bad Greek of a 
Syrian dialect. The reviser neither added nor took away anything, 
though he knew various things that might be added {^Acta Sanct., 
June 17th, p. 308). 

464 The Chii7xh in the Roman Empire. 

orthodox model therefore is much later than that of 
Cappadocia, and it was probably not so thorough. It 
seems to have been only superficial, caused by the Govern- 
ment imposing on the country the forms of the Catholic 

Note. — The "New City" of Basil, p. 461, seems to have caused 
the gradual concentration of the entire population of Cassareia 
round the ecclesiastical centre, and the abandonment of the old 
city. Modern Kaisari is situated between one and two miles from 
the site of the Graeco-Roman city. Here we have a type of a series 
of cases, in which population moved from the older centre to cluster 
round an ecclesiastical foundation at a little distance ; and this 
cause should be added to those which are enumerated in Hist. 
Geogr., ch. viii., " Change of Site." 

* In writing to Gregory, Basil had to give details ; and from 
these we learn the real character of Glycerius's action. But, if we 
had only some brief reference to him, made by Basil in writing to a 
sympathetic foreign friend, we can imagine that it would have been 
prejudiced and unfair. The letter of Firmilian, Bishop of Caesareia, 
to Cyprian (Ep. 75) is a document of the latter class ; and we cannot 
take his description of the unnamed Cappadocian prophetess as 
fully trustworthy. The general facts are true ; but the colour is 
prejudiced. One detail has been recently confirmed by Mr. Hogarth : 
he has found an inscription stating that Serenianus (mentioned by 
Firmilian as ;prcBses te?n;poribus ;post Alexandrum) was governor 
of Cappadocia under Maximin, Alexander's successor. 




IN Asia Minor the result of the contest between the 
unifying principle of the Catholic Church and the 
tendency towards varieties corresponding to national cha- 
racter, was that the former succeeded in establishing itself 
as the ruling power. But it could not entirely extirpate 
the development of varieties. The national idiosyncracies 
were too strongly marked, and these Oriental peoples would 
not accept the centralised and organised Church in its 
purity, but continued the old struggle of Asiatic against 
European feeling, which has always marked the course 
of history in Asia Minor. The national temper, denied 
expression in open and legitimate form, worked itself out 
in another way — viz., in popular superstitions and local 
cults, which were added as an excrescence to the forms of 
the Orthodox Church. A growing carelessness as to these 
additions, provided that the orthodox forms were strictly 
complied with, manifested itself in the Church. The local 
cults grew rapidly in strength ; and finally the Ortho- 
dox Church in Asia Minor acquiesced in a sort of com- 
promise between local variety and Catholic unity, which 
showed much analogy with its old enemy, the State religion 
of the Roman Empire. The latter, so far as it had any 
reality, was, as we have seen, founded on the principle 
(which was indeed never fully developed, but which is 

quite apparent underneath most of the fantastic varieties 

465 30 

466 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

of the Imperial cultus) that the incarnate God in human 
form who ruled the State was in each district identified 
with the deity special to the district The Orthodox 
Church acquiesced in the continuance of the old local 
impersonations of the Divine power in a Christianised 
form. The giant-slaying Athena of Seleuceia is dimly 
recognisable beneath the figure of Saint Thekla of 
Seleuceia ; the old Virgin Artemis of the Lakes became 
the Virgin Mother of the Lakes, whose shrine amid a 
purely Turkish population is still an object of pilgrimage 
to the scattered Christians of southern Asia Minor ; the 
god of Colossae was represented as Michael. In one case 
(unique, so far as my knowledge extends) we find in 
A.D. 1255 even the Christ of Smyrna, Hist. Geogr., p. 116. 

The tendency to localise the Divine power and to find a 
special manifestation of the Divine nature in certain spots 
can nowhere be better studied than in Asia Minor. A 
succession of conquering races has swept over the land, 
coming from every quarter of the compass, by land and by 
sea, and belonging to diverse branches of the human family. 
Time after time the language, the government, the society, 
the manners, the religion of the country have been changed. 
Amid all changes one thing alone has remained permanent 
and unchanging — the localities to which religion attaches 
itself. In the same place religious worship continues 
always to be offered to the Divine power : the ritual 
changes, and the character attributed to the Divine Being 
varies, according to the character of the race, but the 
locality remains constant. The divinity is more really 
present, more able to hear or to help, in certain spots than 
he is elsewhere ; he assumes a distinct and individualised 
character in these spots, and takes on himself something of 

XIX. The Miracle of Khonai. 467 

humanity, becoming more personal and more easily con- 
ceived and real to the ordinary mind. After a time this 
law was accepted by the Orthodox Church, and became 
a strong determining force in its future development. 
The country was divided and apportioned to various saints, 
who were not merely respected and venerated, but adored 
as the bearers and embodiments of the Divine power in 
their special district. We would gladly know more about 
the attitude in which the later heresies of Byzantine history, 
the Iconoclastic movement, Paulicianism, etc., stood towards 
this tendency of the Orthodox Church. 

But we must not lose sight of the fact that above all these 
local differences there was a rather empty, but still very 
powerful, idea of unity. So strong was this idea that it alone 
has held together that which is now called the Greek 
race. The Greeks of to-day have no common blood. 
They include Cappadocians, Isaurians, Pisidians, Albanians, 
as well as Greeks by race. They have little common cha- 
racter ; they are divided by diversity of language. They 
are united by nothing except the forms of the Orthodox 
Church ; but in spite of a low standard of education in its 
priests and no very high standard of morality in its 
teaching, these have been strong enough to maintain the 
idea of a united people. For old Rome as its centre was 
substituted the new Rome of Constantine. The political 
changes of the present century have even destroyed to 
appearance the unity of the Church ; but still the idea 
remains, and every Greek looks forward to a future unity 
of the Church and its adherents, with free Constantinople 
as its metropolis. 

To understand the character of this later development 
of Christianity in Asia Minor, it is best to study it in 

468 The Church in the Roman Empire, 

individual cases, and we shall find a typical instance in the 
narrative of the miracle wrought at Khonai by the arch- 
angel Michael. Our authority is a document, which, in its 
existing form, is a very late fabrication, probably not 
earlier than the ninth century. It shows a strange mixture 
of knowledge and ignorance of the localities, and, while 
purporting to be strongly individualised in its account of 
persons, it is a tissue of general platitudes and marvels 
applied to individual names. The author was perhaps a 
monk of the ninth century. I shall speak of him as the 
redactor. He was not uneducated,, but his knowledge was 
very inexact and of a low order. He was in some way 
acquainted with a tale current at Khonai, the town which 
succeeded the older Colossae, with regard to an apparition of 
Michael there. This tale was the foundation legend {l^po^ 
\6yo<;) of one of the most famous churches of Asia Minor, 
the church of St. Michael of Khonai. 

The redactor confused this apparition of Michael with 
another, which he found in the Menologia. It is there 
mentioned on the 6th day of September that Michael of 
Khonai was manifested at Khairetopa or Keretapa. The 
redactor concluded that the apparition at Keretapa was the 
apparition at Khonai, and that Keretapa was the name of 
the exact spot beside Khonai where the apparition had oc- 
curred. Thus he made out the extant version of the legend. 

He also knew that Khonai was situated in the Lycus 
valley, not far from Laodiceia and Hierapolis ; and, wrongly 
supposing Keretapa to be a spot in the territory of Khonai, 
he fancied that the Lycus flowed towards Lycia. The real 
Keretapa is not far from the watershed of the Indos valley. 
About six miles west of Keretapa one reaches the extreme 
waters of the Indos, which flows towards Lycia. 

XIX. The Miracle of Khonai. 469 

Having thus arranged the locaHties for his tale, he begins 
from the apostle of Hierapolis, Philip, and as a suitable 
introduction works in the Apostle John and the Echidna, 
taking his facts from a different set of documents, examples 
of which are preserved * From Hierapolis the two apostles 
went to Khairetopa, and, after working wonders there and 
predicting the apparition of Michael, they proceeded to 
other cities. Then there gushed forth a healing spring at 
Khairetopa. Long before the church was built, a small 
chapel t existed on the spot. It was the work of a pagan, 
a native of Laodiceia, who became a convert after his dumb 
daughter was cured and made to speak by the miraculous 
fountain. The father and daughter are introduced for this 
one purpose, and remain nameless. Ninety years later the 
first guardian (Trpotr/^ompto?) of the holy fountain came to it. 
His name was Archippos, and he was a child of ten years 
old, born of pious parents in Hierapolis. The name comes 
from Coloss. iv. 17, cp. 13.J: Archippos, a hermit of the 
strictest austerity, guarded the sanctuary for sixty years ; 
and it required a series of miracles to preserve it from the 
attacks of the heathen, though during the ninety years pre- 
ceding his arrival it needed no guardian. The heathen 
natives were determined to pollute the sacred fountain, or 
Ayasma,§ by turning into it the water of some other 
stream. They first tried to mix the river Chryses with the 
Ayasma, but it parted into two branches, flowing right and 
left of the sacred water. 

* Lipsius, A;pokryphal Apostelgeschichte, ii., 2, 24. 

t cvKTrjpiov, dvatacrrripiov. 

% According to Batiffol, Shed. Patrist,, i., 33, this is perhaps a 
genuine tradition about the true Archippos. 

§ aylaa-ixa : SO also at Lystra (p. 50) and Tymandos, Hz'sif. Geogr.^ 
p. 402. 

470 The Church in the Roman E^npire. 

After this five thousand heathen collected at Laodiceia, 
and resolved to overwhelm the Ayasma with the united 
waters of the Lykokapros and the Kouphos. These rivers 
flow about three miles distant from the Ayasma, and after 
uniting beside the great mountain flow away into the 
country of Lycia. To ensure that the rivers should be 
full, the five thousand began by damming them up for ten 
days. But when they opened the dams and let the waters 
run into the new channel which they had cut to divert the 
rivers into the Ayasma, Michael himself came down to 
defend the holy fountain. He stood upon a rock beside 
the sanctuary, and, after bidding the waters stand still 
until they were as deep as the height of ten men, he 
caused the rock to open, and leave a path for the united 
streams to flow through. And the rock split open with a 
noise like thunder and a shock as of an earthquake ; and 
the waters flow through the cleft to the present day. 

There is a curious mixture of knowledge and ignorance, 
of local accuracy and inaccuracy, in this legend. The 
name Lykokapros is a mixture of the two rivers Lykos 
and Kapros, which bounded the territory of Laodiceia on 
the north and west.* The Kouphos also may be a real 
river, perhaps one of those which flow from Mount Cadmos 
northwards into the Lycus. The great mountain of course 
is Cadmos' which rises from the valley 6,000 feet over 
Colossae, and 7,000 above the sea ; it is called the great 
mountain to distinguish it from the low ridge which im- 

* Just as one of the western Xwpot of Laodiceia was called 
Eleinokaprios from the two rivers Eleinos and Kapros, so the north- 
western Xoipos, beside the junction of Lykos and Kapros, may have 
been called Lykokaprios, and thus have misled the author into the 
idea that there was a river Lykokapros. 

XIX. The Miracle of KhonaL 47 1 

pedes the exit of the Lycus from the valley. That the 
Lycus ever flowed to Lycia is of course absurd ; but the 
legend had to explain what happened to the river before 
its new course was opened for it by the archangel. 
Whether from some vague idea that Khairetopa was near 
a stream that flowed to Lycia, or from the mere pseudo- 
etymological fancy that the names Lycus and Lycia were 
connected, the explanation suggested itself that the Lycus 
originally flowed away towards Lycia. Whether this de- 
tail was added by the redactor or belonged to the older 
local legend, no evidence remains. 

The name Chryses is perhaps a relic of an older form 
of the legend distinguished by better local knowledge. 
Names of this form are not uncommon in Asia Minor ; 
and it is quite probable that some branch of the Lycus 
beside Colossae was called Chryses. The sacred stream at 
Hierapolis is called on coins the Chrysorrhoas, so that 
a name of the same stock, at any rate, occurred in the 
Lycus valley. It is remarkable that two branches issuing 
from the same source flow on the right and the left of the 
sacred spring at the present day, as may be seen on the 
map. The northern one is artificial, but ancient* 

Legends of this kind may originate in three ways : 
(i) Some are mere inventions to explain a name.j In this 

* In Maspero's Recueil de Travaux, xiv., 1891, Hogarth and 
I have described the irrigation works at Heracleia-Cybistra, which 
are probably very ancient. 

f One case bears on our subject. The name KeperaTra was some- 
times misspelt Kaiperana and Xaipiraiva ; a legend arose of the 
apparition of Michael, saying Xatpe, ToVe, and this has found its 
way into some MSS. of the Miracle at Khonai. A different legend 
connected with Keretapa and St. Artemon exists, see Ex^positor^ 
1889, i., p. ISO. 

472 The Church in the Ro7nan Empire. 

way a tale might be made to explain the name Khonai, 
^^fimnelsl' as derived from a channel or funnel through 
which a neighbouring river flows. (2) In many cases old 
legends, told originally of some pagan deity, were trans- 
ferred to a Christian saint (3) Some legends were founded 
on historical facts, which occurred in Christian times. 
The last class is far the most interesting ; and it is possible 
that the miracle at Khonai belongs to it. 

Colossae was situated at the lower western end of a 
narrow glen some ten miles long. On the north and east 
the broken skirts of the great central plateau hem in the 
glen. On the south Mount Cadmos rises steep above it. 
On the west a low rocky ridge about two miles in breadth 
divides it from the lower Lycus valley. This glen forms 
a sort of step between the lower Lycus valley, which is an 
eastern continuation of the long narrow Maeander valley, 
and the central plateau, to which it affords the easiest 
approach ; and the great highway from the western coast 
to the Euphrates valley traverses it. The river Lycus 
flows down through the glen, rising in a series of vast 
springs at its upper eastern end. The largest set of 
springs forms a lake now called Kodja Bash (Big Head, or 
Source). According to popular belief, this lake is a duden 
(^fcard^odpov), a term which denotes a place where a river 
either rises out of or disappears into the ground. Such 
dudens are numerous in Asia Minor.* 

East of the Colossian glen, on the upper plateau, is 
the salt lake Anava. Popular belief sees in the Lycus 
springs the outlet of this lake ; and the Lycus water, 
though not salt, is bad in taste and not drinkable. Similar 

* The Maeander, the Sangarios, and many other rivers rise in 
dudens y forming small lakes like Kodja Bash. 



frf"^ okni 

Modern roads ,, , 

PrtAable luu (if aTicient road—Ephincus-Apameia 

Oltmimn Railway 

[DUUinct* in miles from Smyrna) 

UeitfhU vieamred itt jtit above sea Icvtl 

XIX. The Miracle of Khonai. 473 

connections between rivers and high lakes behind their 
sources are often traced in Asia Minor, the typical example 
being between the Maeander and the lake of Bunarbashi, 
the ancient Aurocreni Pontes. Such dudens are commonly 
found where a ridge separates two plains at different levels. 
At the western end of the Colossian glen the Lycus has 
a good opportunity for another diiden, for a ridge separates 
the glen from a plain three hundred feet lower ; but the 
Lycus traverses the ridge by a narrow open gorge in place 
of a duden. Now Herodotus says that the Lycus at 
Colossae enters a rift in the earth within the very city, 
and reappears at a distance of five stadia. Colossae was 
situated on the south bank of the river, but the buildings 
extended to the north bank ; and a glance at the map 
shows that the Lycus enters a rift in the ridge within 
the circuit once inhabited. The question then arises, did 
Herodotus describe rather inaccurately the scenery as it 
at present exists, or has any catastrophe occurred to 
change a former audeii into an open gorge ? It must 
be granted that the phenomena of the legend are strongly 
suggestive of such a catastrophe : the noise like an earth- 
quake, the inundation caused by the blocking of the 
passage, and the subsidence of the water when the gorge 
was cleared, would all be explained by Hamilton's sup- 
position, that the two cliffs of the gorge were once 
connected over the stream, and that the crust was sub- 
sequently broken by an earthquake. The breaking of 
the crust would necessarily block the stream till the 
accumulated waters carried away the fallen debris. If 
such an event took place it must have been after the 
time of Strabo and Pliny, otherwise they would have 
mentioned such a remarkable phenomenon in alluding 

474 '^^^ Church in the Roman E7npire, 

to Colossae. If it happened at all then, the change hap- 
pened when a Christian community existed at Colossae. 
These considerations prompt us to examine the evidence 
more closely, taking as guides M. Bonnet's excellent 
edition of the Greek text of the legend (with his useful 
essays prefixed), and M. Weber's careful description of 
the gorge * 

No clear confirmation of Herodotus' statement has 
come down to us. The chief witness is Strabo, who, 
unlike Herodotus, had actually seen both Colossae and 
Apameia : " (the Lycus) flowing for the greater part of 
its course underground, thereafter appears to view, and 
joins t the other rivers (Maeander, Cadmos, Kapros), 
proving at once the porous character of the country and 
its liability to earthquake." The passage has frequently 
been misunderstood ; the words cannot be explained as 
a reference merely to this duden^ for Strabo is a careful 
writer, and the Lycus has a course of considerably more 
than twenty miles. Obviously Strabo refers to the con- 
nection of the Lycus with Lake Anava ; and thus he 
is correct in saying that most of its course is under- 
ground, and that after its underground course it appears 
to view, and flows to join the Maeander. The description 
is illustrated by Hamilton's description of the source 
near Dere Keui. It issues from beneath the rock ; and 
when Hamilton penetrated further up a cavern or " deep 
chasm in the rock, . . . the sound of a subterranean 
river rushing along a narrow bed or tumbling over pre- 

* Bonnet, Narratio de Miraculo Cho7iis ^patrato, Paris, 1890; 
Weber, der unterird. Lauf des Lykos, in A theft. MittheiL, 1891, 

t The aorist, a-wenecrev, is remarkable here, Strab,, p. 586. 

XIX. The Miracle of Khonai, 475 

cipices . . . was distinctly heard " (i., p. 507).* Now it 
is probable that Strabo, who certainly knew Herodotus' 
description, would tacitly correct anything in it which 
he disapproved of ; and when he says so emphatically 
that the river runs underground for many miles, and 
then emerges to view and joins the Maeander, he must 
be interpreted as expressing dissent from Herodotus. 

No other passage known to me seems to possess any 
value as independent evidence about the localities ; and 
especially the words of Scylitzes are obviously a mere 
report of the legend, connecting it with the derivation 
of the name Khonai. 

Such is the ancient evidence — scanty and inconclusive. 
We are brought face to face with the old question as to 
Herodotus' credibility. Can we accept his evidence un- 
supported, even supposing that it were not contradicted 
by Strabo? Is his statement of that strikingly accurate 
and vivid character, which in many cases leads us to 
accept a description even against other witnesses? 

We turn, then, to the archaeological or topographical 
evidence. Here scientific training as a practical geo- 
logist would be of high value in a witness. Hamilton 
had training and practical experience, but he saw only 
the lower and upper ends of the gorge. The engineers 
of the Ottoman Railway traversed and surveyed it 
some years ago, and I have talked with them. M. 
Weber, of Smyrna, has printed in A then. MittheiL, 1891, 
p. 197 ff., a clear and accurate account of the gorge ; 
but he did not extend his researches over the whole 
territory of Colossse, nor attend specially to the points 

* I explained what I believed to be Strabo's meaning in Amer. 
Jour, Arch., 1887, p. 358/, but have failed to convince M. Bonnet. 

47^ The Church in the Roman Empire. 

raised by the legend. So far as he goes I agree with 
him ; * but only a practical geologist can answer the 
further questions that arise. 

The gorge, as a whole, has been an open gap for 
thousands of years ; on that all are agreed who have 
seen it ; and the grave chambers in the north wall of the 
gorge near its northern end, as M. Weber acutely argues, 
prove this conclusively. This statement, however, does 
not imply that the stream was always open to view. It 
is still in some places half concealed from view, as M. 
Weber says ; and we must admit the possibility that 
incrustation from the streams that join it, both on north 
and south, may have at a former period completely over- 
arched it for a little way. But such a bridge would not 
justify Herodotus, who describes a duden more than half 
a mile long. His description fails in minute accuracy ; 
and we must, so far as the evidence goes, consider his 
words as less accurate than Strabo's, and due to mis- 
conception in reporting an account given him by an 
eye-witness, f 

The character of the localities shows that an inundation 
might readily occur at Colossae ; though we must abandon 
the theory that it was caused by the collapse of Herodotus' 

* I cannot, however, accept his statement, p. 197, *' sezn Lauf hat 
sick me gedndert, wie es Hamilton anmmmt.'^ Hamilton is quite 
right ; M. Weber has not observed quite carefully. 

t An idea, more favourable to Herodotus, occurred to me in 1891 
[Athe7icBzim, August, p. 233) ; but I have been forced by M. Weber's 
clear argument to abandon it. Sacrifice of this idea spoils the view 
with which I planned this chapter ; and brings me back to the con- 
clusion I stated mAmer. Jour. Arch., 1887, p. 358, that Herodotus 
confused the duden at the source of the Lycus with the gorge at 
Colossae. Vast incrustations are made by these streams. 

XIX. The Miracle of Khonai, 477 

dudeii. Deliverance from such an inundation would in- 
evitably be construed as a miracle by the inhabitants. In 
the Pagan time they would have attributed their safety 
to the Zeus of Colossae ; in the later Christian period 
they attributed it to one of the angels — a proof how 
little removed was the later Christianity of Colossae from 
the old paganism. The worship of angels was strong in 
Phrygia. Paul warned the Colossians against it in the 
first century. The Council held at Laodiceia on the Lycus, 
about A.D. 363, stigmatised it as idolatrous.* Theodoret, 
about 420-50 A.D., mentions that this disease long con- 
tinued to infect Phrygia and Pisidia.f But that which was 
once counted idolatry, was afterwards reckoned as piety. 

Michael, the leader of the host of angels, was worshipped 
very widely in Asia Minor. Akroinos-Nikopolis, the scene 
of the great victory over the Saracens in 739, was dedicated 
to him ; and his worship is implied in an inscription at 
Gordium-Eudokias in Galatia.J A church of Michael was 
built by Constantine on the north coast of the Bosphorus ; § 
and here Michael was believed to manifest himself, and 
miraculous cures were toSozomen'sown knowledge wrought. 
The origin of Christianity at Isaura, in the legend of Conon, 

* Coloss. ii. 18, eV dprjo-Keia tcov dyyeXcov ; Concil. Laod., ov Sei 
XptCTTLavovs iyKaToK^'iTvciv r'nv €<K\r]criau tov deov koL dyyeXovs ovoixd^eiv 
KOI avvd^eis TTOiflv, anep dnayopeveTai. ei ris ovv evpedrj ravTi] rfj K(Kpvp.p.evrj 
€i8(okokaTp€ia or^^oXa^coi/, ecTTCo dvddefxa, on . . . eiSfoXoXarpei'a TvpoarfKdev, 
Canon 35. 

i* ep.6LV€ de TovTO TO 7rd9os ev rfj ^pvyia Koi liKribia p^xP'' "^oXKov . . . Koi 
p^XP'- ^^ "^^^ ^^^ evKTijpui TOV dyiov MtxarjX nap' cKeivois kol toIs opopois 
iKdvoiv eaTiv Idelv Interpret. Ep. Coloss. ii. 16 (Ed. Hal., iii., 490). 

I Athen. Mittheil., 1883, p. 144 ; Bull. Cor. Hell., 1883, p. 2}^ 
(read [r]o) ^Apxto-TpaTrjycp el^avTOv ?] napabovs euddde ^[cirat?] "ScorrjpLxos). 

§ It replaced the temple of Zeus, erected by the Argonauts, 35 st. 
from Constantinople, Soz. ii. 3, Cedr. ii. p. 210 {v. Hist. Geogr., p. 157). 

47^ TJie Church in the Roman E7npire, 

is ascribed to the action of Michael ; and his intervention is 
considered by M. Batiffol a reason for assigning to the 
" Prayer of Aseneth " an origin in this region {Stud. Patrist., 

i-, 34). 

As to the legend, we cannot date it in its extant form 

before the ninth century. This is proved by the local 
names employed. Colossae was a city of the plain, exposed 
to sudden attack ; though, if carefully fortified and well 
guarded, it was easily defensible against a regular siege. 
In the Sassanian and Saracen inroads sudden assaults, and 
not formal sieges, were the danger ; and fortresses on peaks 
of extraordinary natural strength, safe against raids, though 
difficult to provision for a long siege, suited the period. 
Khonai was then built on a steep spur of Mount Cadmos. 
The castle must be near 3,000 feet above the sea, and the 
village is situated on a lower shelf, overlooking the rich 
little glen, and commanding a beautiful view of the Lycus 
valley. It was founded probably by Justinian, as part of 
his general defensive scheme of roads and forts ; but 
Colossae, in its convenient position, long continued to be the 
centre of population. But, after the Arab invasions became 
a constant dread, the population sought the safer site ; and 
in 787 the bishop resided at Khonai, though bearing the 
title of Colossae, since the church on the north bank of the 
Lycus at Colossae continued to be the great sanctuary of 
the district. But in 868 and later the bishop bore the title 
of Khonai, the name Colossae had disappeared, and the 
whole territory, once called Colossae, was now termed 
Khonai. The great church by the Lycus still existed, till 
it was burned by the Turks on a raid in the twelfth cen- 
tury ; but it was now known as the church of Michael of 
Khonai. Now in the miracle-legend the church and the 

XIX. The Miracle of Khonai. 479 

whole glen bear the name of Khonai ; and it therefore 
cannot be earlier than the ninth century in the present 

That the legend relates to the church at Colossae, and 
not to a church on the actual site of Khonai, seems indubit- 
able. No one after reading the legend, and looking at the 
remains of the large and splendid church (whose walls 
barely projected above the soil in 1881), can doubt that the 
tale is the foundation legend of the church. But so utterly 
was the name Colossae lost, that the redactor, through the 
confusion described, calls the site Khairetopa. 

The words quoted above from Theodoret prove that there 
was only a chapel of Michael at Colossae, about A.D. 450. On 
the other hand, the church at Colossae must have been 
built before the centre of population was moved to Khonai, 
about 700. t The legend, then, had several centuries to 
grow before the redactor put it into the extant form ; but 
he evidently had an older form to work on, a genuine local 
legend, free from the topographical confusion of Keretapa 
and Khonai. 

We have then failed to find evidence to show with 
certainty which of the three classes enumerated above the 
legend of Colossae belongs to. It may arise from a real 
fact of history, an inundation that occurred in Christian 

* A similar date may be inferred from the form Kheiiretopa, which 
is found in 787 and 879 ; but in eariier times the name, though cor- 
ruptly spelt, has not lost the memory of a in the penult (which was 
probably l»ng). This test admits an eighth century date, but is in- 
consistent with the seventh century, the date favoured by M. Bonnet 
and by M. Batiffol, Stud. Pair ist., i., '^■^. 

t No reference to the miracle or the church of Khonai occurs 
before the ninth century, Bonnet, p. xxxix., Act. Sanct.y September, 
vol. viii., p. 40, § 198. 

480 The Church in the Roman Empire. 

times, or it may be an artificial legend, founded on the 
strange natural cleft through which the Lycus flows, and 
probably giving in Christian form an older pagan myth. 

Note i. — A remarkable example of the worship of angels is con- 
tained in an inscription of Miletos. In this strange instance of 
superstition, inscribed (necessarily by public permission) on the wall 
of the theatre, the seven archangels who preside over the seven 
planets are invoked to protect the city. The names of the arch- 
angels are not given, but each planet is denoted by mysterious 
symbols, with the same inscription beneath, ayie, ^vXa[^]oi/ rj^i/ ttoXii/ 
MiAt^o-icoi/ k.tX. Underneath the seven inscriptions is the single line 
ap\avyk\oi\f\ (f)vXd(Ta€TaL tj ttoXls MtXiycrio)!/ k.t.X- C. I. G., 2895. The 
words quoted from Theodoret illustrate this curious piece of super- 
stition, ol de a.pxo-yy(^OL ras ratv iOvoav Trpocrraaias ivenicrTevdrjcmu^ lllterp. 
m Dan. c. x. 

Note 2. — The length to which this work has already been carried 
prevents me from saying more about the Jews in Asia Minor ; but 
one point must be alluded to (p. 46/2.). M. Salomon Reinach has 
inferred from a Smyrnaean inscription that the archisynagogoi 
(women as well as men) in Asia Minor were not officials, but merely 
persons of rank in the community, who exercised, by virtue of their 
social weight, a certain influence on the religious practices. Codex 
Bezcc confirms his acute conclusions. The inscription which he 
comments on must be probably older than A.D. 70 (p. 349). 

Note 3. — The British Museum inscription. No. 482, "begins by 
complaining that the Ephesian Goddess was now being set at 
nought," about A.D. 161. This document would appear to have 
an important bearing on Chap. XIV., § 3 ; but I have tried to show 
in Classical Review, January 1893, that the text is wrongly restored, 
and that the meaning is different. 

Note 4. — It resulted from the requiring of a specific accuser, and 
still more from the rewards given to the accuser out of the property 
of the accused (p. 336), that a class of lawyers arose, who made a 
speciality of cases against Christians. Just as delatores in charges 
of treason arose in numbers from the policy of Tiberius and 
Domitian, so delatores in Christian cases necessarily sprang from 
the circumstances of the second and third centuries. Allusions to 
such advocali often occur (Le Blant, Aclcs, p. 306). 



Achaia i^gn, i^yn 

Acilius Glabrio 261, 271 

Acta of Martyrs, character of 129^, 328, 330, 337, 339, 374, 404, 422, 

424, 434^, 439, 463, 471-2 
Acfa of Paul and Thekla, of Carpos, etc. : v. Thekla, Carpos, etc. 
Acts, distinction of authorship in 7, 148, 166 ; alleged incompleteness of 

narrative in 87;? : see Paid, Codex Bczce, Tfavel-Docu?nent 
Actum 407 
Adada 20, 57 

Advocati, professional, in Christian cases 480 
iEschylus 313/2 

Agapse, discontinuance of 206, 215, 219, 358?? 
Agathonike 395, 399, 433/: see also Carpos 
Alexander Galatarch or Syriarch 377, 395-8, 402, 406, 411, 413 
Amastris 82, 83, 84 
Amisos 10, 84^, 211, 225, 285 
Ammianus 38;;, 403W 
Amphilochius 445, 447 
Anaitis 125, 138 
Anazarbos 157;? 
Ancyra 82, 99, 108 
Ancyranum monumentum 387 
Angels, worship of 477, 480 ; of churches 368, 369;? 
Antioch of Pisidia 19, 25-9, 35, 50, 66, 70, 81, 93, 102, 131, 148, 377» 3S9» 

395-413. 4I7» 422, 425 ; of Syria 10, 60, 72, 74, 91, 127, 381, 390 

Antipas 297 

Antoninus Pius, policy of 331-4, 337, 353 

Antonius Triumvir 41, 387, 427 

Apameia 44, 93 

Aphrodisias 123 

Apocalypse 188, 245, 287, 295-301, 306, 315, 318, 341, 368, 369;/ 

Apollo-Laiibenos 137 

Apollonia 81, 109 

Apollonius 152 

481 ^ J 

482 Index. 

Apollos 152 

Apologists 340-5, 430, 432 : see also Aristides^ Tahan, etc 

Aquila 158 

Aquilius : see Acilius 

Archisynagogoi 45, 68, 480 

Archives, proconsular 330 

Argaeus, Mount 36/2 

Aristides, apology of 329, 341 ; ^Hus 264, 352 

Arnold 228, 230;?, 234^, 238 

Artemis, Great 135; Leto 137; Queen 136; Pergaean 138; Virgin of 

the Lakes 466; her Shrines 121, 123, 134; her Statuettes 122, 134; 

inscription about, falsely interpreted 480 
Asceticism 416 

Asia Minor, social condition of 11-13,317, 398,443,444: see also IVojnen 
Asia, Province 43, no, 149, 157;^, 166, 187, 287, 295, 312, 330, 332, 416/' 
Asiarchs 116, 131 
Athenagoras 250, 321, 336 
Athens 56, 85, 160 
Attalia 19 
Aube 320/, 358 

Avircius Marcellus 36, 430;?, 436-41 
Axylon 146 
Ayasma 50, 469^ 
Ayo Paolo 18 

Babelon, M. 56;^, I57» 

Babylon 287 

Bacchanalia 373^ 

Barnabas 16, 36, 97, 420; Epistle of 307-9 

Basil of Caesareia 445, 448-64 ; of Seleuceia 381, 390, 393^ 

Batiffol P. 469;?, 478, 479?^ 

Baucis and Philemon 58, 398 

Bauer 228 

Baur 186 

Bavlo 20-23 

Bears in Asia Minor 405 

Bernays 253, 353^ 

Beroea 85, 154^, 160, 163 

Bishops 361-74, 428-32, 435 

Bithynia 75, 82, 83, no, 144, 146, 149, I57«, 187, 198-225, 2S6, 2S9 

Bonnet, M. 474, 479?^ 

Brigandage 24, 373 

Cadmos, Mount 478 

Ceesarea of Cappadocia 10, 432, 461, 464 

Index. 483 

Cagnat, Professor 343^ 

Caligula 373, 387, 427 

Callistus 177 

Cappadocia 10, 15, no, 141, 187, 445-64 

Carpos, Papylos, and Agathonike, Acta of 202, 249, 379, 59i«, 395, 

399^2. 433. 434^^ 435 
Castelius 377, 391, 392, 428 

Catholic Church, over- centralization in 445; in Phrygia 439-42, 463; 
in Cappadocia 446-62 ; later history, ch. xviii, xix : see also 
Churchy Christianity^ Bishop 

Catullus 374, 398 

Celsus 249, 336, 363 

Celtic language in Galatia 82;^, 99 

Christ of Smyrna 466 

Christian attitude in prayer 421; communities, property of 429-31; 
martyrs sent to Rome for execution 317 ; their numbers 220, 241, 
328, 333, 339, 373; spared by beasts 312, 404-6; women martyrs, 
outrages on 399^2 ; name 212, 223, 242, 245, 247, 259, 281, 323, 333, 
336, 344/; women tried privately 348;?, 393 ; writers as historical 
witnesses 176-85, 278 

Christianity, in court and camp 57, 343??, 435 ; in Asia suppressed 
the native character 44, 443-66 ; attitude of educated classes 
towards, see Edjicaied; spread of 57, 146, 284 ; connected with 
' lines of communication 9, 225, 285 ; political side of 10, 177, 192, 
360, 445 ; local and ideal centres of 288, 364, 438 ; its relation to 
philosophy 272, 335 ; opposed to Greek ideas of social life 335 ; 
its cosmopolitan doctrine 345, 360 ; its attitude towards education 
345, 360 ; its attitude towards women 345, 360 (see Wo?neft^ Church) ; 
at first received favourably 130, 346; aggressiveness of 12, 239, 
246, 314/ 357, 374, 432; cause of family divisions 236, 246, 281, 
347» 352 ; disturbing society and trade 130, 200, 239, 246, 326, 347 ; 
causes of persecution of 346-60 ; involved dangerous principle 358 ; 
a religio illicita, but not punished on that ground 193, 250/^ 255, 
347) 3731 110 law against 210 

Christians, their behaviour in society 130, 239, 246 ; characterised by 
indolence 274, 436; their conduct in Roman courts 199, 357, 374; 
treated as brigands and outlaw-i 208, 223, 269, 275, 327, 333, 338, 
342 ; charged with flag itia 20^, 237,289, 340; charged as magicians 
236,392, 410; searching out of 212, 290, 333, 336; professional 
advocates in cases against 480 ; secret 239, 274, 436 ; swore by 
safety of Emperor 323?? ; their power 325, 330, 353^, 436 ; pro- 
tected by their power 325; acted as senators and soldiers 435; 
hatred of 235, 326, 346 ; how far regarded as Jewish sect 194, 266-8 

Chryses 469, 471 

484 Index. 


Chrysostom, homily on St. Thekla attributed to 393, 4io«, 424W 

Church, organization of the 361-74, 428-32 ; its attitude towards women 

162, 375, 459; see also Catholic^ Orthodox, Wometi 
Church history, its connection with political history 172-6, 185-9, 190-92 
Cicero 37, 406??, 451 
Cilicia 63, 108, no, 149, 157^ 
Cilician Gates 10, 74, 85, 91/ 108;/, 318^ 
Cincius Severus 323^ 
Claudiconium 45??, 56 : see Icomtun 
Claudio-Derbe 55: see Derbe 
Claudius 231, 373^2, 387, 393, 414, 427 
Clement 229, 283, 284, 287, 309-11, 319, 365, 368, yjon 
Codex Bez(2 36, 52-4, 87, 94, 128;/, 140, 151-63, 167, 418 
Cognitiones 207, 214^, 215-17, 398/ 
Collegia 215, 359, 430-32, 43^ 
Colossae 93, 466-80 

Comama 32 ; Comana in Cappadocia 32 
Commentarienses 330 
Comnenus, John 463 ; Manuel 94 
Conjoint Emperors 249, 333, 336^ 
Consilium 217, 223, 426 
Constantinople 99 

Conybeare and Hovvson 4, 12, 16, 28, 36, 56, 57, 61 «, 81 
Corinth 10, 56, 85, 158, 311, 319?/, 420; persecution at 311 
Councils 363 ; at Iconium 38 ; at Laodicea 377 
Cultus of the Emperors 133, 191, 250, 275, 296, 304, 323;/, 324, 354,373 

396, 398, 465/ 
Curtius, Professor E. 123 
Custodia libera or privata 399-400 
Cybele 125 
Cynics 352 
Cyprus \oZn 
Cyzicos 387 

Dalisandos i62« 

Dalmatia 285 

Damaris 159, 161 

Dangers of travel in Asia Minor 23 

Deaconesses at Amisos 205, 220;/, 225 

De Boor, Prof. C. 449 

Delatores 325/ 327, 480 

Demas 377, 392, 417 

Demetrius 112 ff 

Index. 485 

Derbe 44, 54, 56, 68, 74, 85, 103, loS;^ 

Diana Ephesia 143 : see also Artemis 

Dikastai 393, 394, 411 

Dion Cassius 260, 263-4, 268, 270, 310, 323^ 

Dion Chrysostom 43, 41 1« 

Dionysopolis 137 

Dispersion 287 

Dods, Dr. Marcus 291-5 

Domitian 226, 249, 256, 259-78, 302, 308, 310, 328: see also Flavian 

Dorymedon 43 5« 
Dorylaion 76?^, 84 
Doulcet, M. 213;^ 
Druids 354 

Educated classes, their attitude towards Christianity 133, 147, 335, 346, 

Egnatian Way 10 

Emperors, worship of : see Cultus ; conjoint 249, 333, 336;^ 

Empire, thought of as "the World" 304, 314; frontier policy of 41, 

385; tolerant spirit of 194, 210, 268, 346; its reasons for persecuting 

Christianity 191-3, 346^; when it began to persecute 194/I 226, 

242, 251, 255 
Ephesus 10, 16, 51, 56, 91, 112-45, 147, 152/ 157;^, 163, 200«, 285, 297, 

302, 313, 318, 365, 427' 
Episcopal power, development of 364-74, 428-31 
Epistles : see Paul^ etc. 
Eumeneia 94 
Expositor 4, 8, 36, 112, 144, 371, 430, 435/ 439/ 443, 471 

Falconilla 407, 420 

Farrar, Archdeacon 4, 28, 45, 449, 456 

Felicitas, St. 294^ 

Female prisoners, brutality of gaolers towards 399^ 

Firmilian 38, 464^ 

Flavia Domitilla 260 

Flavian policy towards the Christians 226, 249, 252-319, 354-60, 372/ 

Flavius Clemens 260, 271 ; Sabinus 243 

Florinus 330 

Fundanus, Minucius 320, 329 

Furneaux, Mr. 2i6» 

Gaius of Derbe 98 

486 Index. 

Galatia 9, 13, no, 149, 163, 187, 285, 396, 411 ; change in extent of the 
province iii, 423 ; development of Northern 99 ; language of 82«, 
97, 100 

Galatian Churches 11, 36, 43, 51, 64, 72, 82, 91, 97-1 11, 154, 167; date 
of importance of 104 

Galatians, North, a Celtic race 105 ; date of Epistle to 100, 167, 364, 427 

Galatic country T], 81, 88, 90, 95 ; Phrygia 93, 391, 396, 398, 415 

Galaticus 14, 78;^, %on 

Gallio 349. 364, 426 

Germa 82?^, 99 

Glycerins 449-62 

Gonyklisia 436;^ 

Gordium 99;^ 

Gr^co-Roman civilisation in Asia Minor 34, 41, 317, 358/, 362, 385, 396^ 

Greek cities, Latin names in 145^ ; language, excellence of later 45 1« 

Greeks, modern, united by religion alone 467 ; their ** pei'versitas " 

Gregory Nazianzen 374, 445» 447. 453. 455. 4^0 
Gregory of Nyssa 424, 445, 447, 450, 455 
Guarding of prisoners 400 
Gutschmid 382;/, 383, 428 
Gvvynn, Dr. 376, 380, 403, 4l6n, 417^, 424, 425;^ 

Hadrian 143, 192/ 278;^, 289, 320-30, 336, 345, 353, 400, 430, 432 
Hamilton 473 

Hardy, Mr. 2oin, 214^, 357 

Harnack, Dr. A. 5;?, 283, 31 1«, 316, 399^, 434^, 437;/ 
Harris, Prof. Rendel 88, 329;^, 376^, 434, 439 
Hassan Dagh 36;^ 
Hatch, Dr. 430;; 
Headlam, Mr 48, 51, i62« 
Hebrews, Epistle to 288, 306, 349^ 
Heracleia-Cybistra 47 in 
Hermas 361/ 368, 369, 432 
Hermogenes 377, 392. 417 
Herodotus 473-6 
Hicks, Canon 112-45 

Hierapolis 155;/, 469. 471 ; Hieropolis 430;/, 436;? 
Hierax of Iconium 39 
Hilary 256^ 

Hirschfeld, Prof. O. 24;^ 158;/, 337^ 

Historical Geography of Asia Minor 7, 8, 13, 20, 24, 26, 28/ 34, 38, 42, 
47, 80/; 96, 99, 125, 138, 142, 168, 285, 455. 464. 469 

Index. 487 

Hodoeporico7i of St. Willibald I55« 
Hogarth, Mr. 51, 55, 137, 464, 494 
Holleaux, M. 277;; 
Holtzmann 248, 286, 349^ 
Horace 176;/, 325;/ 
Hort, Dr. 158//, 283^ 
Hypatius 463 

I bora 446 

Iconiiim 27, 36-46, 55, 67/ 75, 81, 85, 99;/, 103, 108, 131, 148, 163, 376, 
379. 390-95. 409-11, 417, 422-6, 427, 458 ; originally Phrygian 37-9, 

Iconoclast 463, 467 

Ignatius, letters of 127, \%in, 188, 311-19, 341, 3^3. 3^5. 3^9-71.404,406, 
430, 432 ; the name of 440^ 

Imperial religion : see Cultus 

Indicium 202?^, 233 

Inscriptions of British Museum ii^ff, 480 ; Corpus ol Greek 14, 56, 79 
109, 123, 136, 441, 480; Corpus of Latin 15, 32, 80, 430, 440; of 
Exploration Fund 14, 23/ 32, 50, 56, 128, 12,7 ff, 142, 162, 398, 430, 
432, 435. 440, 457, 480 ; various 23/ 138/, 201, 227, 440/" 

Isauria I57«, 162;?, 390, 423 

Isis worship 373W 

James 247, 349 

Jerome 374, 404, 414 

Jerusalem 74, 355, 438; influence of its destruction on Christianity 

287/ 364 ; New 437 
Jews in Asia Minor 18, 45/ 68, 131, 150, 287, 349, 354/ 480; policy of 

empire to 19, 265, 268, 349, 354/; rights and powers of 349, 355; 

their expulsion from Rome by Claudius 231, 373^ ; and Christians, 

distinction of 194, 266^ 
John, Gospel of 302 ; First Epistle of 302-6 
John Mark 16, 19, 61/ 
Juliopolis 82, 191 

Jupiter before the city 51 : see also Zeiis 
Justinian, his defensive scheme 478 
Justin Martyr 39, 320/, 333, 337, 338;* 
Juvenal 175, 179, 400 

Kara Hissar 458 

Katakekaumene 138 

Keim 320, 324, 337, 340;^, 43.^ 

488 Index. 

■ — ■■ ■■! ... ^ II I — .1 ..,1111 , ■■_.-! ■ ■ ■ ■■■-■.■ I I ■ I I P ■ ^IM 

Keretapa 468-80 

Khairetopa 468-80 

Khatyn Serai 48 

Khonai 468-80 

Kiepert, Professor 19, 28, 47/* 

Kilisra 49 

Kotiaion 76;^ 

Kouphos river 470 

Language ot Galatia 82?/, 97, 100 
Laodiceia ad Lycum 93, 142, 389, 469 
Laodiceia Combusta 441^ 
Latin names in Greek cities 145^ 
Leake, Colonel 36^, 48 

Le Blant, M. 2b2n, 26^n, 269/2, 294;/, 312, 330;/, 374/397«, 398«, 399«, 
40i«, 402, 403^, 404^, 405^, 408, 413??, 418, 419, 421, 422, 425, 

432^, 434^. 43 5'^ 436«, 480 
Leopards 406 
Leto 125, 138 

Levvin, Mr. .4, 74?^, 76;^, 94^ 
Licinius Silvanus Granianus 2'jZn 
Lightfoot, Bishop 5,9, 64,78,81, 82, loi, in, 126;^, 127, 156, i6o«, 

171, 185, 193, 213;?, 249;/, 261 «, 262;/, 274, 277?^, 292, 307, 309^, 

3io«, 311, 31 5«, 318, 320, 322, 327^, 328, 33i«, 332«, 333, 336«, 

352;?, 37o«, 376, 379«, 395«, 440, 442^ 
Lipsius, Dr. R. A. 5, 31^, 97, 99;?, 320, 324, 376, 380, 382;/, 401, 402«, 

404?^, 4o8«, 416, 417, 421, 428, 469;? 
Localisation of Divine power 466 
Lollius Urbicus 327, 334 
Loyalty of Asian provinces 42 
Lucian's familiarity with Christian procedure 366 
Lugdunensian martyrs 204, 219, 240, 337, 379, 401 
Lycaonia 37, 41, 56-8, 95, 106, 108, no, ni, 157;/, 164, 390, 423, 427 
Lycaonians, character Oriental 57, 106, 161 ; Koinon 15, 39 ; language 57 
Lycia no, 149, 468, 471 
Lycus valley, topography of 468^, 494 
Lystra 33, 35, 44, 46, 56, 68, 74, loi, 103, 131, 144, 163, 390, 409, ^iin, 


Macedonia 149?/, 151, 156; subdivisions of 158;/, 160 
Magistrates in provincial cities 45, 67, 70 
Magnesia on the Maeander 200, 326, 365 
Mandata Imperatorum 208, 2n, 214, 334, 338/ 
Marciana, African martyr 404/, 413 

Index. 489 

Marcion 100 

Marcus Aurelius, policy of 334-40, 342, 351 

Maricciis 404?? 

Martial 179, 318 

Martyr, the name 251, 281, 296 

Martyrs, nude 377 ; fastened to a stake 413 ; spared by beasts 377, 404 ; 

inscriptions placed beside 401 ; see also ChristiaJi 
Mealitis tribe at Sillyon, meaning of the name 139 
Meetings for religious purposes legal 219 
Melito320, 331;^, 336, 338 
Men 191 
Methodius 424 
Metropolis of Ionia 442;? 
Michael at Colossse or Khonai 468-80, other seats of his worship 468, 

Migratory habit in Asia Minor 17 
Miletos 155, 480 
Minucius Felix 333 
Mommsen, Prof. Th. Zn, 12, 32;?, 127;?, 176;^, 186, 188, 192, 194, 208, 

216;^, 224, 226;^, 256, 269/ 293?^, 295, 318, 322, 332«, 343;?, 354«, 

373 '«. 383. 386^?, 387;?, 432;?, 444?^ 
Monks in Phrygia 463 ; in Cappadocia 449-59, 461-63 
Montanism 416, 433-42 
Mutterrecht : see Women 
Myra 155, 379, 410;^, 417-19 
Mysia 75, 82, no, 160 

Nakoleia 76^ 

Name : see Christian 

Naoi 123-8 

Naokoros 154 

Naophoroi 128 

Neopoioi 114, 119, 122 

Nero 226-51, 276, 278^, 282, 301, 307, 346, 348, 349, 388, 392, 414 

date of his return to Rome from Greece 244, 277 ; expected return 

of 308 
Nerva 310 

Neubauer, Dr. A. 68;/ 
Neumann, Prof. K. J. 181, 194, 195, 202, 203, 213, 2i9«, 226, 26o«, 266, 

297«, 302/?, 33i«, 338, 339, 353«, 399^ 
Nicsea 83, 157^ 
Nicetas of Paphlagonia 375 
Nicomedeia 83, 99, 157??, 215;/; case of the firemen at 2I5«, 358 

490 Index, 

Niobe 124;? 

Nisibis 438 

Nomadic habit in Asia Minor 17 

Nomophylakes 114 

Nomothetse 114 

Novatians in inscriptions 441;^ 

Officium 330 

Olba 427 

Onesiphorus 376, 390, 409, 417 

Origen 283, 336/2 

Orthodox Church 465-7 ; unifying the Greek race 467 

Overbeck 195/2, 320, 324, 331^ 

Pamphylia 16, 61, 108/2, no, 138, 149 

Papadopoulos Kerameus 439 

Paphos 61 

Papylos : see Carpos 

Patara 155/2 

Paul 3-168, 245, 246-51, 282, 284, 286, 302, 349/ 364/ 426; infirmity 
of 62-74, 86; personal appearance of 32 ; a tentmaker 159; Roman 
ideas 56, 58, 60, 70, 94/2, 148, 158/2 (see Travel Docicmefit); develop- 
ment of his views 364/, 426 ; chronology of his life loq/J 168 ; 
persecution of 131, 246-50, 349/2, 350 ; visits to Jerusalem 100/, 
107, 166; first journey 16-73, 364, 420; second journey 74-89, 420 5 
third journey 90-96, 418^; at Ephesus 112-45; pastoral epistles 
103, 246-50, 288, 365, 368, 380, 417; Epistle to Thessalonians 85, 
loi, 347, 364. 426; Galatians ()ff, 43, 59/", 64/", 91, 97-111,285, 
347, 364, 420, 426/; Corinthians 64/ loi, 103, 106, 149, 347, 364, 
420; Romans loi, 286, 288, 347, 364; Ephesians 286; Colossians 
148, 469, 477 ; see also Thekla ; Paul of Samosata 431/i 

Paulicianism 467 

Pepouza 437 

Perga 16, 61 : see also Artemis 

Pergamos 150, 157/2, 297 

" Perils of Rivers "— " of Robbers" 23 

Perpetua, Acta of 434 

Perrot, M. iiin 

Persecution of Christianity, administrative not legal 207 ; early forms of 
200, 250/ 347, 349, 372, 392/; ineffectiveness of, 325, 373 ; causes 
of, 346-60 ; social 294 : see also CJiristiauity. 

Index, 49 1 

Pessiniis 82, 99, 108, 459?? 

Peter, First Epistle of no, 187, 213;/, 245, 279-94, 302, 348, 365, 368; 

Second Epistle of 288, 432;; 
Pfleiderer, Dr. 187-89 
Phargamous 457 
Philadelphia 10, 93, 318?^, 370;^ 
Philemon : see Baucis 
Philip the Asiarch 442^ 

Philippi 10, 56, 85, 103, 131, 156, 160, 186, 20on, 250 
Philomelium 28, 430 

Philosophy, its relation to Christianity 272, 335 : see Educated 
Philostratus 384;^ 
Phrygia 37, 42, 58, 76, 91, 106, no, 146, 149, 160, 446: see also Angels, 

Galatic, Montanisiii 
Phrygian, a title of disgrace 27, 42 ; cities, Greek origin of 42^ 
Pionius, Acta of y^yi 
Pisidia i8-, 50, 72, no 
Pisidian colonies 30-35, 70 
Pliny 146, 181, 187, 196-225, 226, 228, 240, 259, 266, 267, 275, 278;^, 

289, 302;?, 435« ; character of 217, 221, 350, 357 ; fundamental 

importance of his letter to Trajan 195 ; see also Trajan 
Pliny, the Elder 37 

Polemon, King 382-9, 427 ; Sophist 384?^, 389 
Polycarp 330/ 369?/, 374, 398;?, 39972, 430, 433/, 442;^ 
Pomponia Graecina 348;? 
Pontus \oii, 81, no, 149, 187, 198-225, 285; date when Christianity 

reached 225, 285 
Presbyters 367-74 
Priests, attitude of, towards Christianity 58, 131, 144; of Artemis 120; 

named and dressed as their god 459 
Ptolemaeus, prosecution of 327, 334 
Pudens, action of 334 
Pygela 155;? 

Quadratus' Apology 328-9 

Religion,. ancient, its character 130-34, 144, 191, 209, 360; localisation 

of 466; meetings for, legal 219; Imperial: see Culius 
Renan 19, wui 

Robinson, Mr. Armitage 52, 161;^ 

Roman organisation in provinces ^\ff, 358/", 362 : see Grceco-Roman 
Royal Road 31^' 

492 Inaex, 

Sacrilege 260^, 396-401 

Saint, giving name to city, 20 

Saints : see Acta 

Salmon, Dr. 45;?, 380;/, 416?? 

Samos 155 

Saracen inroads, character of 478 

Sardis 125 

Sasima 426 

Scaliger 379 

Sceva 153 

Schlau 380, 428 

Schiirer, Dr. E. 9??, 13 

Seleuceia of Isauria 379, 426, 466 ; of Syria 60, 3i8«, 

Seljuk Sultans 463 

Seneca 273 

Servants of "the God " 397, 407 

Seven Churches, letters to 300, 368. 369^ 

Severus, Septimius 194, 219, 317 ; Sulpicius 243, 253, 255 

Silas 74 

Sillyon 138 

Sinethandos 44 1;^ 

Slaves, evidence of 204 

Smith, Mr. Cecil 135^ 

Smyrna 128^, 147, 150, 157;/, 297, 332, 365, 418;;, 430, 433 

Sociari Sanctis martyribus 262?? 

Sodalitates 211, 213-15, 219, 358/ 430-32 

Spitta 166-8, 299, 369?^, 426 

Stadium Amphitheatrum 400« 

Stadium, trials held in 399 

Stephanephoros 397 

Sterrett, Prof. 28, 47^, 48, 5o«, 54 

Strabo 19, 25, 37, 55, 76, 79, 427, 454; and Herodotus 474/ 

Strobolis 155^ 

Suetonius 240, 257, 258, 267, 271, 273, 276 ; and Tacitus 230 

Synnada 43 5«, 436^ 

Tacitus 9, 176, 183/, 201/ 205, 227-51, 258, 267, 276, 348«, 355, 387//, 
399«, 404;? ; proconsul of Asia 228 ; conception of Flavian policy 

Tarsus io8«, I54» i57« 

Tatian 345, 353, 360 

Taurus 17, 19-24 

Tavium 82, 99?^ 

Index. 493 

Tertullian 221, 283;^ 321, 323-6, 327, 334;^, 342, 345;^, 37 5«, 400, 404, 

414, 415, 421/ 
Tetrarchy of Lycaonia 41, 45, 55 
Thamyris 377, 392, 394, 410 

Thekla, Acta of Paul and 31-3, 36, 46, 66, 155, 159, 260;?, 375-428 
Theokleia 376 
Theophilus, of Antioch 337 
Thessalonica 56, 85, 131, 250 
Thessaly 160 
Thundering Legion 342 
Thurston, Rev. H. 439?^ 
Thyatira 416 

Timothy 74, 85, 98, 102, 420 

Titus 417, 420; Emperor 254, 256, 267: see also Flavian Policy 
Toleration of non-Roman religions 12, 193, 219, 268 
Trade Route, Eastern 28 
Traditores 326 
Trajan 195, 226, 259, 266, 278;^, 289, 302, 329, 333, 337, 341, 345, 353, 

435 w : see also Pliny 
Tralles 157??, 191, 33IW, 365, 398^ 
Travel-Document, Pauline character of 6-8, 37^, 43/, 54, 56, 60, 62-4^ 

65. n. 78, 93. "7r 146-50, 164/ 
Trials held in Stadium 399 
Tribal jealousy in Asia Minor 39 
Troas 10, 76, 85;^, 89, 151 
Trogylia 155 

Tryphaena, Queen 378,382-9,396,400-403,406,412-14,427/; Saint 387?/ 
Tubingen School of criticism 180 
Tyana 10 
Tychicus 154 
Tymion 437 

Ulpian 402;? 

Venasa 4, 142, 450-64 

Venationes 317, 378, 396, 398, 405-6, 413 

Vespasian 256-8, 278?^, 301, 308: see also Flavian Policy 

Vischer 298 

Volter 301, 302;^ 

Waddington, M. 8?/, 109, 142, 175, 332;/, 383, 385, 441;/ 

Weber, M. 474-6 

Weiss, comm. on i Peter 349^ 

494 Index. 

Weizsacker wui, 307 

Wendt 5, 76??, '^']7i, 82, ic6, 149, 167 

Westcott, Bishop 303??, 305, 443?^ 

VVieseler 213?? 

Willibald, St. 155?? 

Wilson, Sir Charles 48 

Women in Asia Minor 67, 161, 398, 403 ; in the early Asian Church i6r, 

345. 360, 375, 438, 452-9, 480; in Macedonia 160; see also Chris- 

tian, Chrisiianitv, Female Prisoners 

Xenophon, his evidence about Phrygia 37 

Yaila 17 

Zahn 31872, 379, 383;?, 384^, 404, 414, 416;^ 

Zeus of Laodiceia 142 ; of Lystra 51, 57/; of V'enasa 142, 457/ 

Zeus Larasios 191 ; Olympius 191 


1 (p. 47). View of Lystra, from a photograph by Mr. D. G. Hogarth, 

1890. The view is from the south ; Ayasma with trees in the fore- 

2 (p. 55). View of Derbc, from a photograph by Mr. Hogarth, 1890. 

The view is from the south-west. 

3 (p. 441). Gravestone, in possession of a Turk, native of Seulun, drawn 

by Mrs. Ramsay, August 1884. I tried vainly to induce some rich 
Armenians of Kara Hissar to bring the stone to their church for 

4. The Map of Asia Minor is intended chiefly to show the political 

divisions A.D. 50-70, and, secondarily to aid the comprehension of 
the history of Christianity in the country during the early centuries. 
By a mistake the hills bounding the valley of Lystra on N.E. are 
represented too near Iconium ; and Lystra has been placed on 
the site of the modern Khatyn-Serai, whereas it was on the 
north bank of the river a mile away from the village. 

5. The Map of the Lycus valley depends on the Ottoman Railway 

Survey, kindly given me by Mr. Purser. The route from Denizli 
to Khonai is added by me : I traversed it in October 1891. 

Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Vine}', Ld., London and Aylesbury. 







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